Wheaton Soldier Receives Posthumous Medal of Honor

By Lauren Jiggetts and James Langton
|  Friday, Sep 10, 2010  |  Updated 6:31 AM CDT
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Army Staff Sgt. <a title=Robert Miller saved the lives of more than 20 soldiers when his unit was ambushed in Afghanistan more than two years ago. " />

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller saved the lives of more than 20 soldiers when his unit was ambushed in Afghanistan more than two years ago.

A Wheaton North High School graduate next month will have the rare and distinct honor of being just the third Medal of Honor recipient for the conflict in Afghanistan.

But Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller won't be able to take pride in the award.  It's being given posthumously.

Miller saved the lives of more than 20 soldiers when his unit was ambushed in Afghanistan more than two years ago.  His mother says she's confident her son knew -- and did -- what he needed to do.

"Some of the machine guns were only 15 meters away from them," Maureen Miller told the Daily Herald. "What Rob did was basically take control of the situation after his team captain was critically injured."

Under heavy fire, Miller took time to translate commands in two languages to help the Afghanistan soldiers with his unit.  And he held off the Taliban fire so his team could find safe ground.

"He finally went into an exposed position to draw fire on himself to allow his fellow soldiers to get into a safe position," she said.

The date was January 25, 2008.  Miller was just 24 years old.

"It wasn’t a question of 'What should I do?'  It was a question of 'How can I direct forward?'” a close friend, Bobby Kaye, said of Miller's heroics.

President Barack Obama will present the medal to Miller’s parents in a White House ceremony on Oct 6.

"He displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor, eventually sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his teammates and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers," the White House said in a statement.

Miller served as a weapons sergeant in Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the NATO medal, the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab and the Parachute Badge.

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