ALLEGANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Major Patrick Miller was injured in the Fort Hood shooting in April, while pulling other soldiers to safety and dialing 911. He led a parade in his hometown of Allegany, Saturday.
Flags lined Main Street, with many people gathered to officially welcome Miller home.
It was a homecoming fit for a hero.
Major Patrick Miller was honored as the Grand Marshall of a parade, through the Village of Allegany. This was Miller’s first time home, since the April 2 shooting at Fort Hood.
“It’s just phenomenal to have this much love and support and to see and spend time with me. It’s literally a celebration of life,” Miller said.
Miller has been through several surgeries since the shooting, in what has been a long road to recovery.
“It’s been a long road. This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life. You make milestones and small check marks everyday, little victories, everyday, every week and you gradually get better,” Miller said.
Major Miller was shot at point blank range and did all he could to help save others. While he says he’s not a hero, many along the parade route beg to differ.
“He means a lot to everybody and everything that the United states stands for,” said Kim Blenker.
“The guy’s a hero, as far as I’m concerned,” said Rick Tucker.
“God bless him. We’re proud to be American,” said Jenny Lathrop.
Miller’s father, John, says his family has felt an incredible amount of support since the shooting.
“The ride yesterday, I can’t describe it. You know all along the way, people honking horns and thumbs up clapping, pretty good,” Miller said
“It’s such a great community and just to see everyone rallying around me or rallying around the event and the parade it warms my heart,” the Major said.
As flags fly, the red, white, and blue were proudly on display. It becomes clear these colors are a symbolic reminder of the bravery and courage displayed by Miller and the men and women who served before him.
Miller says the true heroes, in this instance, are the ones who didn’t make it home after the shooting.