GAHANNA, OH, USA U.S. Marines PVT, WPNS CO, 3D BN, 2D MAR, (RCT-5, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC HABBANIYAH, IRAQ 09/03/2006
The aunt of a 21-year-old Ohio Marine Ryan Miller eulogized him with a story about how he prevented his younger sister from wandering into traffic when he was 4. Tears were streaming down his face and he was screaming, ‘No, Tara! No!’ Kathie Masters, Ryan’s aunt, said. Ryan ran to shield her from harm’s way.
Miller, 21, of Gahanna, Ohio, was killed Sept. 3rd when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Anbar province. He was a 2003 high school graduate, on his second tour and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.
Tara remembered the forts he built in the woods. His father remembered teaching his son to shoot a pellet gun in the backyard and that his son hoped to become a Marine sniper.
Miller planned to leave the Marines after his four years were up and go to college and pursue law enforcement. His inspiration was his uncle, David Blubaugh, a Columbus police officer.
Miller had called his parents Mary and Ed days before his death to tell them how he had survived an attack on his Humvee. He was two months into his second tour in Iraq. In his last call, he talked about being home for Christmas 2007 and his plans to pay down his Nissan Altima. His car was his pride and joy, said his father. I couldn’t have asked for a better son,” he added.
More than 500 people attended his funeral Mass at St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church in this Columbus suburb. Children from St. Matthew Catholic School, Miller’s elementary school, waved American flags outside the church. People stood near the cemetery with their hands over their hearts.
The Rev. Anthony Lonzo said Miller was a person of honor and respect.These are the values that made him the man he is and was when he joined the Marine Corps and made the ultimate sacrifice of his life.