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Teenage US Soldier Killed In Afghanistan On Fourth Of July

Army Pvt. Errol "Elijah" D.A. Milliard, 18, was killed July 4 in Afghanistan when enemy forces attacked his unit with a rocket propelled grenade, according to the Department of Defense.

Milliard was assigned to the 2nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The Birmingham News reports Milliard was from Brooklyn, New York, and transferred to a Birmingham High School during his senior year.


One of Milliard's teachers, Wyatt Smith, grew close enough to the teenager to be invited to a family wedding. He told The Birmingham News:

"I spent an evening with family and friends and people that loved Elijah, a very diverse mix of people across racial, ethnic and sociological spectrums. It was clear that, even though he was a newcomer to Birmingham, he had developed close relationships. That speaks to his charisma and how people saw him, as a very high-quality young man."

According to Birmingham television station WIAT-TV, Milliard is survived by his parents, his grandmother, and his fiancé.