A Farewell to Joe Miller, veteran and true friend to so many
"I didn't want to do it this way, but there are too many friends and relatives to notify individually, to say farewell. Tuesday, I had a final appointment with my Oncologist. I asked 'up front" what kind of time I had left? The answer was six months or less. (Diagnosis was Cancer of the Abdominal Cavity.) The past three months of treatments and extraneous doctor appointments with tests, etc. kept me from posting here in FB. So many of my Brothers in Law Enforcement and the Marine Corps have preceded me into Heaven, along with My Son, Brian Miller, I know the welcoming there will be as good as my Recent Honor Flight here in Orlando. My only regret in life is having to leave my wonderful wife, Pat. She has been my rock through all the time of illness. Goodbye and God Bless, you all."
Those were the words that splashed across my screen, the morning of January 24, 2019. I cried. It was unfair. How do you respond? But, I had to say something to let him know how much he meant to me.
“Oh Joe. I don't even know where to begin or end. At a loss for words right now, as I'm sure you have felt over the last several months. You've been such a kind, dear friend and I know I shall miss the hell out of you. You have always supported me and my WWII research and have helped me spread the news and keep their memories alive. Now I guess it's my turn to keep your spirit alive and I shall be more than glad to do so. So as you reach your destination, I shall be looking up to see you in that great Corsair in the skies. Love you always, Marion”
Even though Joe and I never met in person, we became steadfast friends. He was a true joy, and totally in love with his wife (and best friend) of many decades. He was always smiling, and it radiated in his words. His FB intro stated, "Just an Old Guy who is very fortunate to have a great wife for 50 plus years and lots of friends." You couldn't help but love him, and you knew why he had a multitude of friends.
He appreciated the work I did with WWII veterans, and was always happy to share my research with others. He was like a proud father. It would make me smile and sometimes it even made me shed a tear. We truly bonded when he learned of my love of Corsairs (the famous WWII aircraft with gull wings). That's when I discovered he actually flew those beauties (he graduated from the Marine Corps boot camp in 1954).
Posing with his Corsair
Farewell my dear friend. I will always think of you as Corsair Joe!