TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida pauses to honor a Florida soldier who received the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during a fierce gun battle in Afghanistan that claimed his life.
Gov. Rick Scott and other state leaders honored special forces Staff Sgt. Robert James Miller, of Oviedo, during a ceremony at the state Capitol Tuesday.
As Miller's parents watched, a memorial plaque of their son was unveiled. It will be placed on a wall in the Capitol honoring all of Florida's Medal of Honor recipients.
Twenty-four-year-old Rob Miller was serving his second tour in Afghanistan in January, 2008 when his unit came under heavy gunfire.
Gov. Rick Scott said Miller bravely responded by charging the enemy and providing protective cover for members of his team.
"One soldier described the enemy like ants coming out an anthill. Rob immediately engaged, providing cover fire for his unit to regroup and get to safety," Scott said. "Rob was relentless against the terrorists and suppressed the enemy forces with grenades and gunfire. He engaged the enemy so much that he attracted most of the gunfire and made the ultimate sacrifice for his team."
"His courage and commitment to country saved a lot of men that day and we are forever grateful for his service and sacrifice to our country so we can enjoy our freedoms."
Rob's mother Maureen Miller described him as the epitome of a special forces soldier, who was proud of his family's military service dating back to the Revolutionary War.
She recalled a description of her son offered at his memorial service.
"Robbie was the type of soldier that saw the hardships before him and stepped up to the challenge. He understood the hazards of combat and the risks of his service to our nation," said Maureen Miller. "He willingly bore the burden of the soldier. He was the epitome of the special forces soldier. He was a warrior among warriors."
Miller's actions are credited with saving the lives of seven U.S. soldiers and 15 Afghanistan Army soldiers.
Rob Miller is among the 337 soldiers from Florida who have given their lives in the fight against terrorism.
First Coast News