Two lives: Jarrod Mills, husband/father, bomb hunter


As a civilian, Tech Sgt. Jarrod Mills, 43, does fiber optic work for AT&T in Georgia. When he’s deployed, he hunts bombs.

Since 2008, Mills has been deployed three times to Afghanistan doing EOD, explosive-ordnance-disposal missions. “And I’m trying to go back again,” he said.

His last deployment was particularly intense. He was working with a British reconnaissance unit hunting insurgent bombmakers. They were dropped into villages in the early morning hours when it was dark, and did door-to-door searches.

In one firefight, an insurgent threw a grenade over a wall, injuring two British soldiers. Sprinting into a hail of gunfire, Mills and others beat back insurgents on three sides so a helicopter could evacuate the injured soldiers.

When the fighting was over, Mills said he finally noticed something jabbing into his side: It was a machine gun bullet that had smashed into the plate of his body armor and got caught in the inner webbing next to his skin.

On another occasion, a rocket-propelled grenade landed 15 feet away. “I hate RPGs. They’re ridiculously loud.”

He said his ears rang for a couple days, but the blast forces went in a different direction and he wasn’t injured.

Mills is a husband and father of four daughters. “I have a sense of mission at home,” but he said taking out IEDs gives him a profound sense of purpose. “I take it personally. I want to protect people from them.”

Comments { } is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full Terms and Conditions.