Denzell Ray MillsPrivate First Class
C CO, 2ND BN, 14TH INF RGT, 25 INF DIV
Army of the United States
30 December 1948 - 16 October 1967
Newfane, New York
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The database page for Denzell Ray Mills
My Brother-in-law Denzell
You were only 8 years old.
You were living in New York State.
The weather was very cold.
I married your brother James
Your arms were opened wide,
You spent a lot of time
You always made us laugh.
You shared your love
You were with all of us
There will never be another you.
We are thankful to God,
You are sadly missed by all of us.
James, Sue, Benita, and Jeannie
Losing you left a large void in our family and the pain is still very present more than 35 years later. I hope you know how much you are loved, missed and remembered. Your picture hangs on the living room wall of my parents, your Aunt Rachel and Uncle Arland, along with other family veterans. We call it the military wall. I wish I could tell you how proud I am of you. I was young when we lost you, but I remember your teasing, playful ways. When I go to "The Wall" or the "Moving Wall", I touch your name and it is almost like touching you. After the rush of tears, I feel comfort and a kind of peace that lets me know you are in a MUCH better place. I always have the same effect everytime I touch your name, it is like the first time every time. I just wish we could have spent more time with you, but you are in so many hearts you will NEVER be forgotten. Even children born YEARS after your death know about you and the sacrifice you made. Once when I was at the Moving Wall in Cleveland a local reporter caught me on film touching your name and crying. He approached me later and asked if he could put it on the news that evening. I told him yes, anything to get your name out there and to get people to see the wall. I know you and Larry (your cousin) are together, both of you Vietnam Veterans. Although you are buried hundreds of miles apart, the memorial plaque that Larry had placed next to your mothers' grave on top of that mountain in West Virginia is also now next to his own grave. The American Flag and the POW/MIA flag flies overhead. Larry lost his battle with cancer caused by his exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam. He had so much love, respect and honor for you. He had just returned from Vietnam 7 months when you were sent over. Now, years later, both of your names will forever be "in sight" as a bridge in West Virginia will be dedicated in your honor and be named the:
Denzell R. Mills
Anyone passing near it will see the names and, hopefully, will think about how courageous you were and how you made the ultimate sacrifice. I know on the day of the dedication, you and Larry will be looking down on all of us standing on your bridge and know how very much you are loved and missed. We will never stop making attempts like this to keep your names alive.
From a cousin,
I did not have the honor of meeting you due to me being born in 1969, but my father Larry R. Hatcher spoke of you often. He was very proud of you. He did not speak much about the war but when he did you were mentioned.
My father wore a belt buckle that had a saying on the back of it and what he did was made a plaque in your memory and placed it next to your mother's headstone so that the family will see it when we visit the mountain. To see my father's eyes on that day you could see how proud he was of that. I was not able to be there that day but I do have pictures of it and he was just so proud. A while later my father was struck with cancer. I think he knew what he was doing when he made that plaque because he now lays next to it and I have the honor of having the belt buckle that reminds me of a great father and a hero that I never met but am very proud and thankful for you both.
Now there is a bridge in West Virginia named after two fallen heros: Denzell R. Mills and Larry R. Hatcher.
My father used to tell me that "He died over there, but he just waited until he came home to lay down." I never knew what he meant by that but I think he knew what was going to happen down the road... I am very proud to have the bloodline of two fallen heros and always will.
From Denzell's second cousin and Larry's son,
I will always remember the good times we had. Playing softball for the church, having lunch at your house, going out and just enjoying our youth. I think about our friendship every time I ride by your house, across from the school. I wonder about your brother, and what became of his life. I still have a letter from a female friend from school, talking about your relationship. I will always cherish our friendship.
Your Friend, Mark
Mark Dearborn Sr.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 8 Nov 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009