BAYOU L'OURSE, La. - Bayou L'Ourse is a small town in Assumption Parish. It's the hometown of 31-year-old Marine Gunnery Sgt. Greg Mullins. In a place where the lone supermarket is also a source of local news, it didn't take long for word of Mullins' death to spread.
Mullins was one of four Marines killed in an explosion Thursday morning at Camp Pendleton, California. All four were Explosive Ordinance Disposal Marines. Base officials say the Marines died during range maintenance operations to dispose of unexploded material. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.
"I was in school when I got the call. First I went into shock, I'm like are we sure is this really happening and then it hits you, go to sleep hope it's a dream and it's not at all," said Jessica Holbert, a cousin of Mullins.
Holbert says her cousin will be remembered as a man who was handsome, humble and heroic.
"For putting his life on the line every day for doing two tours overseas, and I'm proud of him and I love him, and I wish I could tell him that one more time," she said.
Craig Mullins says his older brother exactly fit the mold of an older sibling. He was protective, generous and family oriented. Greg Mullins leaves behind a wife and three young children.
"You can't say enough, great guy, husband, great brother," said Craig Mullins.
Greg Mullins joined the Marines in 2002. He served two tours in Afghanistan. He was a decorated Marine, but his mother says very few knew of those awards. She says her son didn't want to come across as a braggart.