Family, friends remember Newnan soldier killed in Iraq

Family members and friends came to light candles over the weekend at a memorial on the front lawn of a soldier’s home in Newnan for Spc. Adrian G. Mills, killed by mortar fire last week in Iraq.

Mills, 23, died Thursday in Kirkuk from wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by insurgents, the Army said. Mills was assigned to the 272nd Military Police Company, 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade at Fort Polk.

"I hope that everybody will come by and take a look and maybe take a moment and say a prayer for my son," Mills' stepfather Jeff Blehschmidt, told Channel 2 Action News.

Cassie McDonald, who grew up a few doors down from Mills and was his schoolmate at Northgate High School and part of the same Air Force JROTC program, said the young soldier always knew that he wanted to go into the army and be a military police officer.

"It didn't matter where he had to go or what sacrifices he had to make. He definitely knew what he wanted to do,” McDonald said.

Mills also is survived by his mother, Marie Elaine Blehschmidt, and his wife, Sandra, who he met while stationed in Germany. The military has flown Sandra’s parents, Franz and Doris Abel, to the United States from Heidelberg to attend Mills’ funeral.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed but are being handled by McKoon Funeral Home, Newnan. Mills will be buried at Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, next to his friend Army Pvt. 2nd. Colman Joseph Meadows III, who died in Afghanistan in December 2008.

Blehschmidt said his son’s legacy would be “true love for his country."

He had this advice for other parents: “Love your children. Absolutely, love them every day the best that you can, and look over them... because one day they may not come home."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this article.