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Parents remember a thoughtful son

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Spec. Kyle R. Miller
Spec. Kyle R. Miller, 19, of Willmar, Minnesota, was killed in Iraq June 29 2006, when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle.
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota National Guard

Kyle Miller's parents say their son was one of the most caring people they knew. During his three months in Iraq, he sent home plenty of letters and cards.  One of the last things he sent to Randy Miller was a Father's Day card.  

"Happy Fathers Day, Dad," he wrote. "I hope everything is going good for you and mom.  Everything is still going good over here, same stuff every day. I'm glad you've almost got the basement done.  Take some time off and enjoy yourself.  Go to a movie with mom or take the motorcycle out for a spin.  Just enjoy yourself and have fun.  Love, Kyle."

Candy Miller, Kyle's stepmother, said even though he was in a hot and dangerous war zone, Kyle seemed more concerned with how his family was doing back home. 

I asked him, 'You don't regret this?' He said 'No, absolutely not.' He didn't have any regrets about his decision.

"He was always worried his dad was working too hard here," Candy Miller said.  "We built a new house and finished out the basement, and he didn't like it that his dad was always working so hard."

That concern for family extended to Miller's  phone calls.  Even though his family worried constantly and prayed for Kyle's safety every day, during each call, he tried to put them at ease.  

"He'd call and I'd say, 'Honey, are you OK?  You sound a little depressed.' And he'd say, 'I'm just tired,' And he just said 'Mom don't worry, I'm OK, I'm fine,'"  Candy Miller said.

Kyle Miller spent much of his childhood in Bird Island, Minnesota with his birth mother, but then moved to Willmar in his teens to live with his father and stepmother.  

Miller signed up for the National Guard when he was in high school.  After his time in Iraq, he hoped to turn his passion for working on cars into a career.    

The Millers were told that Kyle died on June 29.  He was a passenger in a vehicle that was hit by a roadside bomb.   

"He wanted to be over there, he really thought he was doing something important. I asked him, 'You don't regret this?' He said, 'No, absolutely not.' He didn't have any regrets about his decision," Candy Miller said. 

Kyle Miller is the second soldier from the 625th Engineering Battalion killed in Iraq.  Morton native Brent Koch died June 16 after being hit by a roadside bomb.