The family you will meet in this video, the Miller family, is in some ways a regular American family. In a time, though, when so few Americans serve and even fewer Americans know anyone who is serving, the Millers are, shall we say, unique. This family’s heritage is as truly distinctive. As you will see, they have a family tree of military service that very few families can claim as they can claim military service by members of their family, in every generation, all the way back to the Revolutionary War.
Today, 1.3 million Americans are actively serving in the military. The current population of the Unites States of America is 328 million plus. As you can see, the number who are presently serving and their families, number far less than 1% of the population total. Most Americans don’t know a single person in the military. Comparatively speaking, few American families today have someone serving in the military, but even fewer not only have one of their family members serving, but several. The Millers are one of those rare American families.
At one time the Millers had three of their children serving in a war zone at the same time; one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq. It is hard to imagine what that must have been like for the parents, but you can get a bit of a sense of the emotional weight of it in the mother’s voice when she speaks about that time. One of them, a daughter, Caroline (Booth) tells of being in command of her supply company as part of a convoy in Iraq when the gun truck in front of hers was hit by an IED. She explains her reaction as, “It was probably one of the worst moments of my life watching that explosion.” But she tells it in that subdued way that those who have been there and seen those kinds of things do. And you can hear her surprise and relief that no one was hurt, “Thank the Lord everyone was OK.”
She is asked by the reporter if she told her parents what she had seen when she talked to them after the event, she laughs, in that way that combat veterans knowingly do, but her mom tells of the phone call after that incident when her daughter told her, ” Mom I thought I might have lost my guys; it was the worst day of my life.”
Families who have had one or more of their members serving in wartime know a kind of tension and fear that most families will never know. The stress of having more than one family member serving at the same time in combat is beyond the imagination for most of us. At times in our history that may have been more common; the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWII come to mind. In those times, almost every family, if they didn’t have someone in uniform, knew many who were. This is not the case today. The Miller family’s service to the nation since its beginning is like very few others indeed.
The rest of this story is about the unbroken and widespread military service this family has given and continues to give to this nation. The line of this family’s military service extends all the way back to the beginning and, in multiple cases, several members of a given generation put on the uniform and served the nation in a time of need. It is a stunning thing to see the wall in the family home that is full of portraits and pictures of those members of the family who have graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, 15 of them to be exact.
This family knows what military service means. Seven generations of unbroken commitment to the nation. It has always been true that some people, in every generation, have been able to step up and answer the call to serve when the need arose, and others have not, but this family’s history is full of those kind of people, all the way back to the Revolutionary War. It is really quite amazing.
Today’s American population is so isolated from the military that most are completely unaware of the realities of military service, even in a time when we have been at war for 20 years. Listen to what the members of this family have to say about the importance of the civilian population knowing what military service is for, what it has done for the nation. When they are sent off to war, it is “We The People” who call on them to go, to serve, and to potentially pay the full cost of the freedoms we enjoy. Listen too, to the amazing wisdom of this family as they describe how they handle the stresses that go with military service, both as military members and as a military family. They speak openly and honestly, even humorously, about what keeps them strong and helps them deal with those stresses. Listen to them speak about the importance of their faith/prayer…and the importance of the gym.
In another couple of months we will, once again, be celebrating Veterans Day. This Veterans Day, let’s remember the Miller family, and all who have served our great nation so willingly and so generously. As the old saying goes, our freedom did not come about through politicians, or journalists or great businessmen, but through the humble, willing sacrifices of those who had the courage and character to step up and put on the uniforms of our military in those times our country needed them the most. May God bless the Miller family and all the other military families and service members, past and present, that they represent.Whizzco