This is the final version of one of the portraits we'll present at the Gold Star Ceremony, October 7th, followed by his obituary. I am so tired of this undeclared war and the deaths of these young men and women. When will it be over?
Army Sgt. Joseph M. Lilly, 25, of Flint, Mich., died June 14, 2012,
in Panjway, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive
device. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment,
3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base
A combat engineer from Flint who died
two days after being wounded in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan
believed so strongly in the Army’s mission that he volunteered to serve
his latest tour there, his aunt said June 18. “This is what he loved. He loved being a U.S. Army soldier,” Martha Alexander said of her nephew, Sgt. Joseph Lilly.
The 25-year-old was injured June 12 by an improvised explosive device
in Kandahar province and died two days later, the Pentagon said. Another
member of his unit from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Spc. Trevor
Pinnick, 20, of Lawrenceville, Ill., also was killed.
Alexander — the sister of Lilly’s mother, who died 13 years ago —
recalled a recent conversation the two shared via Skype. In it, Lilly
told his aunt, “I’m going to sound weird, but I enjoy it.” Alexander responded: “Not everybody gets to do what they wanted to do. You’re very lucky.”
Lilly was hit by a sniper’s bullet only weeks before his death,
resulting in a wound on his chin that required a few stitches, Alexander
said. “He was just upset that he was sidelined,” she said.
Lilly was a 2005 Carman-Ainsworth High School graduate, where he was
active in stage crew. As a soldier, he also served in Iraq and in South
Korea. He is survived by wife Katrina and their son Alexander, 3. Michael Lilly, 55, said he was proud of his son’s choice to fight for his country and said his son’s ideals have much to teach.
“Joe knew what the consequence was,” the elder Lilly told Mlive.com.
“It was worth it to him because he believed in what he was doing. He was
trying to keep us free out of the clutches of terrorism. He accepted
the risk. That right there is someone who has a lot of guts.”