The Department of Defense announced Saturday that Army Staff Sgt. Miller died from wounds he received during enemy small-arms fire during combat operations for Operation Enduring Freedom in Barikowt, Afghanistan. Miller, a Special Forces weapons sergeant, was assigned to Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) based out of Fort Bragg, N.C.
Miller, a native of Harrisburg, Pa., enrolled in the U of I because of his interest in the gymnastics program. "He hoped to be on the gymnastics team," his mother, Maureen Miller, told The Daily Iowan. Miller’s mother also said that her son had been interested in the military.
Although Miller never made it on the Iowa gymnastics team, he was an active member of the gymnastics program. After his freshman year, however, he enlisted in the Army in 2003. Upon graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2005, Miller earned his Green Beret status.
Miller deployed for service in 2006. During his deployment, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor and was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. His other awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, NATO Medal, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab.
Miller is survived by his parents, Philip and Maureen Miller, brothers Thomas, Martin, and Edward, and sisters Joanna, Mary, Therese, and Patricia, all of Oviedo, Fla.
Miller is the 64th person with ties to Iowa to die from injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2003.