Sunday, October 12, 2008


William Donald Miller Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

Family remembers death of a Marine some 36 years ago BY LINDELL KAY Courtesy of JDNews.Com of Jacksonville, North Carolina
The family of a Camp Lejeune Marine shot dead on Western Boulevard 36 years has not forgotten him and do not want anyone else to forget him, either.
Motorists found the body of Sergeant William Donald Miller lying in the middle of the road on Western Boulevard halfway between Marine Boulevard and County Club Road on September 16, 1972. He had been shot, according to an incident report of the time.
Authorities found Miller's car on the shoulder of the road with the engine running, the lights on, a blinker clicking, and a half-cocked pistol on the seat, according to a Daily News archived report.
No arrest was ever made in the case.
One of Miller's three daughters, Wendy Miller-McGee, who now lives in Colorado, told The Daily News in an e-mail interview last week that she will never forget her father.
"My father means the world to me," she said. "I was 1 year old when my father was murdered."
Miller-McGee said she last visited her father's grave in Arlington National Cemetery when she was 8 years old.
"Ever since then I have always wanted to go back, especially now that I have children of my own," she said. "When my husband Dave told me we were going to Washington, D.C., on a trip I was so excited and could not wait."
Miller-McGee, her husband David and their daughter Ashley took the time while on an April business trip to visit the cemetery.
Miller-McGee said she could not stop crying when they found her father's grave among the seemingly endless rows of tombstones.
"Growing up, I have always wondered about my father," she said. "I have lost a lot since my father was murdered. It breaks my heart that I never got to know him, and he never got to meet his grandchildren."
Miller-McGee said her heart breaks every time she thinks about how she missed out on a relationship with her father. She said she is left with questions that can not be answered.
"What kind of father would he have been?" she asked. "Was he funny? What kind of person would I be today if I had the chance to grow up with my father? What kind of grandfather would he be? Would he be proud of me?"
Miller's sister, Sharron Aguilar, who now lives in Texas, said her family has been permanently affected by the death of her brother.
"Our family, who has experienced the violent death of a loved one, has been forever changed into a ‘new normal,'" she said. "We can never go back to how things were, we have to integrate this tragic loss into our lives and move on without our loved one. We will never get over William's significance and importance in our lives."
Aguilar said Miller's death affected his entire family, especially since the case has never been solved.
"Since there has never been closure, parts of our hearts are buried at Arlington National Cemetery," she said. "My brother was not able to watch his three daughters grow up into fine young women. He did not walk them down the aisle at their weddings. He is not here now to kiss his four beautiful grandchildren."
Miller was the oldest of six children, who were always referred in their neighborhood as the "six little Millers."
He grew up in a small Wisconsin town called Weyerhauser, "the biggest small town in the state," according to a town billboard.
Miller was always looking for adventure, his sister said.
"He loved riding his bike, climbing trees, fishing, animals, playing cowboys and Indians with his brother David and picking on his sisters," she said.
When Miller was 10, the family moved to Herreid, South Dakota. Miller became obsessed with horses and worked for free at a small ranch just to be around the animals. He eventually became good enough at riding to break horses for the ranch owner, his sister said.
Miller was also in the school band and played trumpet like his father, who his sister said he idolized. As soon as he could, Miller followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Marines. His family said Miller was focused on being the best Marine he could be and planned to make a career out of it. His untimely death put a stop to that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so tickled with your new blog about your billy. I just love the family pictures!!!

    Keep us posted at Jurorthirteen!