NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
September 2, 2005
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Captain Lowell T. Miller, II, 35, of Flint, Michigan, died on August 31, 2005, in Iskandariyah, Iraq, when his military training team was conducting operations with the Iraqi Army and they came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire. Miller was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment, McComb, Mississippi.
Courtesy of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI):
LEXINGTON, Virginia, September 2, 2005
Army National Guard Captain Lowell T. Miller II, a 1993 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, was killed in action in Iraq on August 31, 2005.
Captain Miller died of gunshot wounds sustained in combat. He was a member of the Michigan National Guard and volunteered for duty with the Mississippi National Guard's 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry during its deployment to Iraq. Further details of his death are not immediately available.
Captain Miller earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
Funeral arrangements are not available at this time.
Captain Miller is the seventh VMI graduate to die in Iraq.
UPDATE – 6 September 2005 – Funeral Arrangements
A funeral service for Captain Lowell T. Miller II '93 is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2005. The funeral will be held at Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 West Hill Road, Flint, Michigan 48507.
Visitation is scheduled this Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day. For additional information, call the funeral home at (810) 235-2345.
Arrangements for a service at Arlington National Cemetery are pending (Captain Miller will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on 12 September 2005).
Ben received an email from Tom's father which gives us more details into Tom's life.
First of all, please forgive me for sending this news in an email. Members of my family that I haven't made contact with by phone are receiving this because of attempts made have failed. Some of you already know but don't have many details. I hope this helps you in understanding our loss. Those of you who I consider very close friends are receiving it also. I have sent it as a blind copy to each of you.
On Wednesday 31 August I received a knock on my door at 9:55 PM. It was a knock that I have dreaded for the past 2 years. An Army Major in full Class “A” uniform was standing on my porch. It didn't dawn on me at the time until he asked are you Mr. Miller and I said, “yes”, that I realized who and why he was there. He said that on behalf of the Secretary of Defense, he regretted to inform me that my son Captain Lowell T. Miller II had been killed in action in Iraq. I had visioned this same thing in my mind many times, since his brother Patrick first went to Iraq in 2003. My wife, Linda was not at home because she works nights at a funeral home and was running late. I had the grim task of meeting her as she got out of her car. She knew something was wrong by the look on my face. She asked, “is there something wrong.” I said that I was just informed that Tommy has been killed.
It was a night mission. A night mission that they said was too dangerous for American soldiers and they called on the group of Iraqi soldiers that he had been training for the past 6 weeks since he returned from his 2 weeks home on leave in July. He didn't want them to go alone so he went with them. I'm not sure of the following but was told by the CAO (casualty assistance officer) that they were ambushed and he was shot once in the chest. He did not live but a short while. Tommy was a soldiers' soldier. He always took care of his men and never gave thought for his own safety.
His body is at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, arriving today(2 September 2005). They will be preparing his body and sometime next week he will be flown back to Flint. There will be a full rites military funeral. He will be cremated and part of his ashes will be interned here and the other part will be scattered on the Parade Grounds of Virginia Military Institute where he graduated in 1993 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.
We have been told that he is to be posthumously promoted to Major and will receive a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Tommy enjoied being a soldier. He had joined the 155th Infantry at Champ Shelby in Mississippi in order to be able to deploy to Iraq. In an email he stated that his job was fun training these soldiers and it appears that he had made some good Iraqi comrades.
He died doing what he believed in.
I only ask that you keep my family in your thoughts and prayers as we go through this time. Tommy was a born-again Christian by accepting Jesus as his savior at the early age of 8 years. He still remained a believer until the end. He is now at peace with the Heavenly Father. He will go to war no more.
Thank you all so much.
Officer Thought of Others First, Friends Say
By Lila de Tantillo
Courtsy of the Washington Post
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Army Captain Lowell T. Miller II loved helping others and serving his country.
He was killed August 31, 2005, in Iskandariyah, Iraq. His team had been training soldiers for the Iraqi army when they came under enemy attack.
As an officer who died in the line of duty, Miller, 35, of Flint, Michigan, was eligible for a funeral with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery, complete with a horse-drawn caisson and a military band. Instead, his family chose a simple and solemn service yesterday at the cemetery's Columbarium.
Among the dozens of mourners who gathered beneath the Marshall Shelter at the Columbarium were Miller's wife, Angela; his parents, Lowell and Linda Miller; his daughters, Danielle, 11, and Alexandra, 7; stepchildren Jessica, 13, and Jordan, 6; and siblings Patrick and Jennie.
During the service, an honor guard held an American flag over the urn containing Miller's ashes. Afterward, Chaplain Charles Hamlin presented the folded flag to Miller's wife, who in turn presented it to his children.
Miller was assigned to the Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment based in McComb, Mississippi. The lifelong Michigan resident had asked to join the Mississippi National Guard so that he could be deployed to Iraq, according to Eric Leszczynski, who was Miller's supervisor at Yazaki North America Inc., where Miller worked as an electrical engineer.
“It was where he felt he was best needed,” said Leszczynski, 42, who had known Miller for nearly a decade. “He did this for love of country and for duty.”
Leszczynski, who spoke about Miller at a memorial service September 10, 2005, at the Swartz Funeral Home in Flint, said that Miller's military efficiency and precision also were evident at Yazaki, where he had helped design electrical systems for such specialty cars as the Dodge Viper.
“If you gave him something to do, it would get done. He would get everybody going,” Leszczynski said. “He was a bulldog — he approached everything he did in that manner.”
Miller was a 1993 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and the seventh VMI graduate to die in Iraq. He was a longtime member of the Michigan National Guard and served a stint patrolling the U.S. border with Canada. Last year, he was sent to Sinai, Egypt, where he served with Captain Thomas Golden of Utica, Michigan.
“He's the kind of guy that, if you were at war, you'd want right next to you,” said Golden, 39, who later roomed with Miller during a two-week officers school at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The men had a chance to share a few beers, Golden said, and became friends in addition to comrades.
“He was a good man, beyond being a soldier,” Golden said. “He thought about other people first.”
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm ordered American flags across the state lowered to half-staff Sept. 12 in Miller's honor. He was the 175th person killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
Members of the U.S. Army 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard), carry the remains of Army Captain Lowell Miller II, 35, of Flint, Michigan, during burial services at Arlington National Cemetery September 20, 2005. Miller was killed August 31, 2005 by small arms fire in Iskandariyah. Iraq.
Angela Meyer, second from left, wife of Army Captain Lowell Miller II, 35, of Flint, Michigan presents the U.S. Flag to her step-daughters Danielle, 11, center, and Alexandra, 7, during burial
services at Arlington National Cemetery. Looking on are Millers parents Linda Miller, left, and Lowell Miller.
Army Chaplain Charles Hamlin, left, kneels as he presents the U.S. Flag to Angela Meyer, center, wife of Army Captain Lowell Miller II, Looking on is Miller's mother Linda Miller, right.
MILLER, LOWELL THOMAS
CPT US ARMY
- DATE OF BIRTH: 08/31/1970
- DATE OF DEATH: 08/31/2005
- BURIED AT: SECTION 5-QQ ROW 12 SITE 5
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard