OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Memorial Day weekend now has a completely different meaning for an Overland Park family. They are mourning the loss of 23-year-old Pfc. Cale Miller, who was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
There's a lot of conflicting emotion for Miller's family.
"Sadness; there's a lot of anger, despair; but also a great sense of pride," said Miller's brother-in-law, Frank Barden.
Miller was just over a month into his first deployment to Afghanistan. He was serving with Company B, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based in Fort Lewis, Wash. Miller was also a 2007 graduate of Olathe Northwest High School.
Driving his Stryker vehicle Thursday, Miller hit a roadside bomb in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. His brother-in-law says the vehicle flipped, trapping Miller inside. He says Miller told the other men on the mission to save themselves.
"I think what he really liked was the camaraderie of his fellow squad mates," said Barden.
That's apparent by his selfless final action.
Now Barden is wondering how the family will go on without Cale.
"He was an incredible brother to my wife; an incredible son. He was an incredible uncle to my 3-year-old," Barden said.
Barden is asking for everyone's thoughts and prayers.
"Not only for us, but for his squad mates who are there, and they're going to continue on doing their duty even though they've lost one of their own," said Barden.
Miller's parents are currently in Delaware, where his body has arrived. A funeral date has not been set.