Navy Corpsman enshrined on JSOMTC 'Wall of Heroes'


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Sine Pari, Oct. 23, 2008) – A new name was added to the Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center’s Wall of Heroes during a ceremony Oct. 23, here.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles “Luke” Milam, U.S. Navy hospital corpsman, was the 31st Special Operations Medic inducted into the Wall of Heroes.

“Holding a ceremony like this, it is our chance as the premier institution in the world for creating SOF medics to formally pay respect to the U.S. Special Operations Medics who have fallen, hear their stories from those who fought with them, then eternalize their story with their plaques on the Wall of Heroes,” said First Sgt. Robert S. Torka, Company A, Special Warfare Medical Group (Airborne).

“It is important for the future Special Operations Medics to learn about those medics who came before them and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he continued. “This will also give them a small reality check of the importance of the training they’re doing here—they are training to deploy in harm’s way, they are expected to keep their brothers alive and bring them home.”

Milam was mortally wounded while serving in combat operations in Afghanistan as a platoon corpsman, 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, on September 25, 2007. While in support of an Army Special Forces Operational Detachment attacking to clear a Taliban defensive stronghold, Milam’s position came under enemy mortar, RPG and small arms fire.

Milam and his team then mounted their vehicles and moved forward to identify remaining enemy positions. At that point, his team came under sustained enemy fire. With a barrage of enemy fire impacting all around him, Milam continued to expose himself and delivered deadly machine gun fire resulting in several enemy casualties.

Manning a machinegun, he suppressed the enemy and enabled several Marines and Army Special Forces an opportunity to move from under the enemy barrage to better positions, but in doing so, he drew heavy fire from the remaining enemy forces. Milam continued to provide suppressive fires until he fell, mortally wounded.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Maxwell, Special Forces Medical sergeant who served in Afghanistan with Milam, and instructor at the JSOMTC said, “As memorial plaques are placed beside his as this war rages on, it is easy for (Milam’s) to blend into the many others that have come before him and those who will undoubtedly come after.

“Today we remember him, honor him. But in our tomorrows, we must never allow his memory to fade…Luke, it was a true honor fighting alongside you and though brief, having had the chance to know you. Rest easy good brother—you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race.”


Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles “Luke” Milam poses for a photo while deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. (Photo courtesy of USAJFKSWCS PAO)