Honor Flight: A son’s personal letter to his veteran Dad - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Honor Flight: A son’s personal letter to his veteran Dad


The wife of a local veteran shared a letter from her son honoring his father and his service.

The following letter was written by Kevin Miller to his veteran father, James:


As I sat down to write this letter I had no idea how difficult this would be. Grabbing a pen and notepad turned out to be the only simple steps of the entire process; who knew writing a letter to a Veteran would be so challenging? The problem was that I believed I was going to write a letter to a Veteran – but this is so much more. Looking ahead to the events of today I found myself flooded with a lifetime of memories; most of which have little or nothing to do with writing a letter for delivery during Mail Call on your journey home.

My earliest memories are of you in uniform – no event of specific activity, just you as a young man in a soldier’s duty uniform. I have no idea how old I was at the time nor any perspective of what we were doing – just an image of you looking at me from above with a loving smile. My Father, the Soldier, Thank You!

I obviously had no idea what a soldier was at such a young age, but I do now. I know the depth of sacrifice being a soldier can demand and the challenge of navigating the responsibilities of warrior and father. I pray that when  you look at Sis, Sam, and I you realize you excelled at both. We are the people we are today because of you and specifically Sam and I are the men we are today especially because of  you. Your love, honor, and integrity live in us. You are and always have been with me at each step of my life’s journey. Even in my most trying hours on this earth, when faced with potentially grave consequences, I would see your loving smile from my earliest memories and know that everything would be okay. You have always been my first-line leader.  When I was a Private, you were a Sergeant; when I was a Platoon Sergeant, you were my Platoon Leader; when I was a young Warrant Officer, you were my Commander; and what I was a Senior Warrant Officer, you were my General Officer. Without a doubt you have influenced my character and life more than any other military leader I had the pleasure to serve and support. My Father, My Leader, Thank You!

My Father, My Soldier, My Leader…if these were all you meant to me this would be plenty and more than any son could ever hope for. But you are more, much, much more. For what you don’t know is that your ever-presence in my life has had you with me during some very challenging times; times when tomorrow seemed a lifetime away and a distraction. I was stronger because you were with me. You gave me strength when I felt weak; warmth when I felt cold; and clarity when all around me seemed to be chaos. Very few can ever understand the bonds formed during times when me must give all they have to give; every last ounce of energy; and sometimes every last breath. The brotherhood of men who know these times can only look to each other for acceptance and understanding. Our common membership in this brotherhood is most likely what made this letter so difficult to write.  How can my Father also be my Brother? It is what is known and not said that forms and holds this bond. It is not easy to set aside the rightful order of Father and Son and realize that you are also a brother. My Father, My Brother, Thank You!

I’m thankful for all you have given me in this life and beyond. I see reflections of you in my children and know your values will prevail through generations to come. Your noble qualities of service to family, community, country, and God have not gone unnoticed and live on through your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Thank you for all you are. Today you are honored as a Veteran but I will honor you and cherish you as so much more: My Father, My Soldier, My Leader, My Brother, and My Hero. Thank You!

Your Loving Son,

James Miller served in the Vietnam War. He participated in GRHF Mission #37 on June 18, 2016.

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