Friends recall slain Marine
The Houston native had intended to join the police department as his parents had
HOUSTON » After his military career was over, Lance Cpl. Ryan Adam Miller planned to add to the combined 60 years of service his parents gave to the Houston Police Department.
But the third-generation Marine didn't make it to his 20th birthday.
Miller, a 19-year-old based out of Hawaii, was killed Thursday in action in Iraq, just a few weeks from the end of a tour that started in March. He died in combat against enemy forces in Anbar province, the U.S. Department of Defense said yesterday.
"He followed his dad into the Marines, and planned to wear his mother's badge when he joined the police department," said Katie King, a childhood friend of Miller's.
His parents, Jeannine Maughmer-Miller and Frank Miller, both retired after long careers with Houston police. Frank Miller worked in narcotics for more than 34 years, and Maughmer-Miller was a juvenile investigator for 25 years.
"Ryan would have made a fine police officer," said Assistant Police Chief Vicki King, acting as a spokeswoman for the family.
Miller attended Pearland High School but finished his secondary education as a home-schooled student so he could enlist when he turned 18. He was barely a year removed from his Marine Corps graduation when he died.
"Ryan may have seemed to be a regular kid when he played baseball and attended school in Pearland. But he was no ordinary kid, and this is no ordinary family," said Vicki King, Katie's mother. "These two dedicated parents pledged their lives to fight the crime that threatens our city. Their son pledged his life to our country."
Katie King said Miller hadn't decided whether to re-enlist, but he was planning to attend her November wedding. Miller's 22-year-old sister, Meghan, is a bridesmaid. Miller is also survived by his brother, Brandon.
"He really was a great guy," said Katie King. "He really would do anything to help someone."
Miller was known for his love of junk food -- especially Skittles -- and the Houston Astros. In fact, Katie King knew what her final salute would be.
"I am going to Sam's to buy a 3-pound bag of Skittles to bury with him," she said.
Miller was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, in Kaneohe.
Funeral arrangements are pending.