My Father, My Hero Passes Away at 92

My Father, My Hero Passes Away at 92

As most young boys, I looked up to my Father as a provider, protector, friend, and all around Hero. My Father, Allen W. Miller, United States Marine Corps combat veteran during the Pacific Campaign earning a Purple Heart while on Okinawa passed away Friday, April 28, 2017 after a brief illness and two months after his wife passed. He saw action on Guadalcanal, Okinawa and served in China during the occupation. He never really talked much about his part of the war until I saw the scar of the wound he received while on Okinawa. When I asked him about the round looking hole behind his right knee, he told me the following story. He was one of many mortar teams set up on one side of a small hill while the Japanese were on the other side. They had been trading mortar rounds back and forth until one of my Dads team leaders got pissed and decided to storm over the top of the hill and “Kill those lousy Japs”. As my Dad was approaching the half way point over the hill, he said it felt like someone had hit the back of his leg with a baseball bat and the next thing he knew he was back at the bottom of the hill. He looked down and saw his trousers were soaked in blood from the waist down and thought he had be blown in half. One of the Corpsman came by and helped my Dad up and got him to an aid station, then to a hospital somewhere so he could recover and that was the end of the war for him. He returned home to Camp Pendleton where he became a Fireman on the base. He met my Mother prior to leaving for overseas and they got married when he returned home. I came along in 1956 and then my brother in 1960. For all those years he rarely spoke about the war until I found a shotgun in his closet. He told me that he had “Liberated” it from a dead jap soldier on Okinawa. He worked for 40 years for the Ford Motor Co., retired, and when my Mother passed in 1988, he mourned. Then in 1989 he found himself standing at the front door of a female family friend and said “Here I am!” They were together from that point on until her passing 2 months ago. The end came when I had to put my Dad in Hospice care while in the hospital for a massive blood infection. I thank God everyday for having such a loving and caring Father. I’ll miss you Dad. SEMPER FI, Leatherneck! Daniel Miller, L/cpl United States Marine Corps, 1974-1976
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