Bayou L’Ourse Marine loses life in line of duty
Sgt. Gregory Mullins. (Submitted Photo)
The parish and the country lost a dedicated serviceman and family man last year when Gunnery Sgt. Gregory J. Mullins, 31, of Bayou L’Ourse, was one of four Marines killed in an explosion at California’s Camp Pendleton on Nov. 13 during a routine sweep to dispose of unexploded ordnance.
Mullins, who was the explosive ordnance disposal noncommissioned officer-in-charge at Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, died doing what he always wanted to do — serving his country and helping others, Dena Polk, his mother, said.
“Gregory loved all of his family. But the last four years he was focused on his beautiful wife and his children,” Polk said. “He is the daddy every child would want and the husband every woman would dream of.”
She said Mullins was focused on serving his country well before his 2002 enlistment.
“Some people have a calling. This was Gregory’s calling,” his mother said.
A funeral was delayed because the remains were part of the ongoing investigation, Polk said.
A memorial was held Nov. 21 and his funeral was Dec. 4.
During the memorial Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard said, “We will always remember their commitment and devotion to duty.”
Polk said the family was treated as “royalty” by the Marines during their stay in California. “Gregory was given full military honors. It was so hard to see his wife and children receive their flags. I cannot describe the grieving,” she said.
The support and condolences from friends and the community were appreciated, she said, including a special invitation from Marine Corps League, St. Mary Detachment, to attend its annual concert.
“I thank Jim Bosworth and David Martin of the Marine Corps League for reaching out to us,” Polk said.
Mullins’ awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.
“We are holding up as well as can be expected,” Polk said of the family. “We are just trying to find a new normal.”