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Medal of Honor: Staff Sgt. Robert Miller

Medal of Honor: Staff Sgt. Robert Miller

A son, a brother, and a fallen hero. Those who knew Staff Sergeant Robert Miller best say he led an extraordinary life– a life he sacrificed in the mountains of Afghanistan to save others. His family remembers the man and the soldier he became. [♪mellow music♪] [female speaker] When Rob told me that he was going to join the Army, I knew it was coming, so it wasn’t a surprise. [♪♪] If you asked him, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” he’d have a litany: “I want to be a baseball player first “and then a football player and then a fireman and a soldier.” And the list of things he wanted to be would change over time, but he always wanted to be a soldier. [male speaker] He began his military service when he enlisted in August of 2003. My wife and I were both anxious or a little bit on edge all the time, but we were very proud of what he was doing, and we were very enthusiastic as we found out more and more about what he was involved in and what they had to do. Obviously, we were extremely proud of what he was doing. [♪♪] After his first deployment, he enjoyed showing pictures of some of the things he had done. He loved the scenery in Afghanistan and a lot of the people he was with, so he enjoyed showing us pictures of that. From what he told us, I could tell that Rob enjoyed what he was doing over there, especially with the Special Forces aspect and working with the local population. He was getting to know the people well and learning their language. [♪♪] When we learned the details about what Rob had done to earn the Medal of Honor nomination and then the award, we were sort of amazed at how intense it was. [P. MIller] They had been out on a mission, and during the course of that mission overnight, they were involved in a protracted firefight. And for several hours, they were primarily from their gun trucks first, and they were involved in this action. After calling in close air support, things were quiet for a while. They went in on foot in the damaged area to do a damage assessment to see what was left of what had happened, and Rob took over command of the situation. He gave directions in Pashto and English since they were not relying on an interpreter because Rob already spoke the language–at least to a functional level that he could work with the Afghani soldiers directly. He took command of the situation. He advised the people around him how to get out of the kill zone where people were firing at them. He also–if I’m correct–I believe took out the machine gun nest that was about 50 feet in front of them. And it gave everybody else enough time to react, get back to what they’re trained to do, to get out of the kill zone, to take cover, and then regain control of the situation. [M. Miller] I think the fact that he died doing something that he loved and that it was worthwhile was an important factor in helping us deal with the situation. When I heard that he had sacrificed his life for others, that did help us a lot in dealing with the grief, that we knew that his death was not in vain. [♪♪] [P. Miller] Receiving the Medal of Honor on behalf of our son will be extremely important to us because it represents the gratitude of the country to one of their soldiers that’s performed so well and so effectively in combat. And we just couldn’t be prouder that our son was involved in this campaign and this effort. [♪♪]

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