Pascagoula Soldier Recovering From Grenade Attack - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/31/05

Pascagoula Soldier Recovering From Grenade Attack

The dangers of an election process half a world away are hitting close to home. Army Private First Class Brandon Miller, 20, was injured Sunday in a grenade attack in Mosul, Iraq. Miller graduated from Pascagoula High in 2003.

Until a phone call Monday, his parents had no idea how serious the injuries were, or what exactly happened.

It started on Sunday with a phone call from their daughter-in-law, Stephanie.

"You're basically speechless," said Brandon's mother Carol Miller. "It's the last phone call you expect to get."

Tommy and Carol Miller learned their son, Brandon, and his unit were guarding one of the many polling stations in Mosul when insurgents attacked. They knew he was hurt, but that's all they knew.

"It has been a total nightmare, because when you can't find out any information your imagination just rolls," said Tommy Miller. "I was in the military for 24 years and know some of the things that can happen."

"As a military spouse, I did know what to expect, but it puts you in a different situation when it's your son there," says Carol Miller.

Relief came for the Millers after 12 long hours of waiting and wondering. Brandon called from a hospital in Germany and told his parents what happened.

"They were at the end of the day. Polling stations were getting ready to close and they were counting their weapons, getting ready to leave, when they heard a pop. All of a sudden somebody yelled, 'grenade.' Everybody hit the ground and it exploded," said Tommy Miller as he recounted the conversation with his son.

The explosion injured Brandon Miller and four others in his unit.

"Two of them had broken legs and the rest of them were shrapnel," said Miller. "My son has shrapnel in his right leg and left leg, just above his groin. His face was peppered."

The Millers know their worries are not over, but they're thankful their son is coming home alive.

"I feel we're blessed in every way because things could've been a lot worse," said Carol Miller.

by Josh Ridgdell

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