Photo Information

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (April 21, 2006)- Marines from Company E, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment pass by and hug the family members of Sgt. Sean Miles, their fallen comrade-in-arms, who laid down his life to save that of another Marine. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Who T. Hellever (RELEASED)

Photo by Cpl. Athanasios L. Genos

Marine posthumously awarded Purple Heart Medal

21 Apr 2006 | Cpl. Athanasios L. Genos 2nd Marine Division

Genevieve Miles and her family were surrounded by Marines from her husband’s company as their commander presented Sgt. Sean Miles’ Purple Heart to her here, April 21.

Miles was fatally wounded while saving the life of another Marine during an ambush in the Al Karmah region.  His wife, Genevieve and son, Tyler Regi, were present to accept the award on behalf of Sgt. Miles. The Marines from Company E, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment were present to honor the fallen hero and his family. 

“Today is a day to not only remember, but also honor our heroic brother, Sgt. Sean Miles,” Brady said.  “Sgt. Miles distinguished himself on numerous occasions in combat and was also posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device.”

They were ambushed while on a dismounted patrol, and Miles began sending in a situation report while directing his Marines into position to return fire on the enemy. 

One of his Marines was in the direct line of fire.  Seeing this, Miles acted without hesitation, putting himself in between the enemy fire and his Marine.

“He acted without a second thought and deliberately positioned himself in between the enemy fire and his Marine, shielding and shoving the Marine to safety,” Brady said.  “After saving the Marine’s life, Sgt. Miles received a fatal wound from enemy fire.”

Miles was a squad leader who influenced many of his Marines and those he worked for. 

“He was the only man I have ever met who I wanted to be like,” explained Cpl. Jason Gillilan, a fellow squad leader who served with Miles.  “He never quit anything in life and most of all he loved his son and wife.  He gave up everything ... his family and his squad.”

Two Marines who were a part of his squad in Iraq were trained by Miles at the School of Infantry.  Miles later became their squad leader when the two Marines reported into the battalion.

Lance Cpls. Alexander Burke and Samuel Fonseca both had only good things to say of Miles.

“He is one of the greatest guys I have ever met,” Burke explained.  “He was like a father figure to all of us in the squad.”

“He was someone we all looked up to ever since we first met him at SOI,” Fonseca explained.

Everyone was in a somber mood as they all lined up to hug and shake hands with the family.  Marines embraced each other and the family as they remembered all Miles had done for both his families.