HONOREE: Donald Miller, NOMINATOR: Beckie Miller
Don began his career in the Air Force, but actually retired Army with more than 30 years of service.
He was an exemplary soldier, winning awards and medals. He served his country with honor and pride and would still be in the military if he could. In fact when 9/11 happened, he tried to go back in to fight for those lives tragically lost.
His true battlefield began on the homefront. On October 19, 1991, his 18-year old son Brian, an Air Force ROTC junior cadet throughout high school who was also planning on a military career, was robbed and shot to death in Phoenix.
Without a lot of support from his fellow national guardsmen and others, I am not sure even this tough military soldier could have survived this battle. To help cope with his pain and loss, he chose to give the next almost 23 years of his life to helping families in the Valley who have lost a child or loved one to murder.
A volunteer job, it is extremely hard work helping run Parents Of Murdered Children, a support and educational non-profit. Don has been everything from treasurer, database coordinator, and video tribute coordinator, to workshop presenter on fathers' grief and couples surviving grief, talking on the phone for hours with male members, and overall handyman.
He is one of the strongest and most compassionate men whose military training serves him well as he serves survivors of the home front war of violence in our community.