First Father's Day, first tour of duty

June 17, 2009 5:25:12 PM PDT
This will be an especially memorable and bittersweet Father's Day for one Emeryville man. Just days after celebrating the day with his family on Sunday he is off to Afghanistan for a tour of duty.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you from ABC7 News

Joey Miller will celebrate his first Father's Day with his wife and three-month-old daughter Abigale.

"He's a great dad. He's kind of a kid at heart so that comes out in his fatherhood," Beth Miller said.

But then, just days later, this member of the National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing leaves for his first tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"When we travel we'll be traveling either in a convoy or by Blackhawk helicopter. So, traveling from place to place can be dangerous. But, everybody's come back so far, which is good," Joey Miller said.

Beth and Joey are both members of the National Guard Band. That is where they met. She plays the flute and sings. He is the drummer. Beth will be staying home and soon, Joey will be playing concerts for troops. During his 45-day tour he will avoid the front lines, but not the danger.

"Places that we perform at, there's always the possibility of mortar strikes and stuff like that. But, you know it's part of the job," Joey said.

There are more than 1,200 California National Guardsmen serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. But, it is only within the past few years that National Guard band members like Joey Miller have been deployed to the war zones there.

When he is gone they will keep in touch through the computer so Joey does not miss out on what is important.

"I'm going to miss a whole month of her life and she's just starting to discover her hands and all that. So, I'm pretty sure I'm going to miss some stuff," Joey said.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments