Final salute for Maryland Marine

Mourners fill Arundel church for Corporal Mileo's funeral

Postwar Iraq

April 25, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Mourners packed Trinity Bible Church in Severna Park yesterday morning to remember Marine Cpl. Jason David Mileo, who was killed last week in Baghdad.

Mileo, 20, a 2000 graduate of Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, was fatally shot April 14 after he was mistaken for an enemy soldier, military officials said.

He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif. His battalion, part of the 7th Regimental Combat Battalion, helped lead the charge through Iraq, a Marine spokesman said. It was making the transition to a peacekeeping role in eastern Baghdad when Mileo was killed.

In Mileo's last phone message to his parents, Phillip and Leah Hall of Centreville, he said he was witnessing history as Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled in Baghdad's central square.

A flag flew at half staff in front of the church yesterday as the overflow crowd tried to squeeze inside for the funeral. Many gathered there knew Mileo as a teen who played on his high school golf team and worked on the drama club's stage crew.

Mileo's family requested that reporters not enter the church. Burial was at the family cemetery in Centreville.

A Defense Department spokeswoman, Cpl. Shelly Henderson, said yesterday that she would not release any new information about Mileo's death. The shooting is under investigation, officials said last week.

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