RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va (WOAY)- A picnic is a pretty typical way to celebrate Memorial Day. But Newswatch reporter Anna Saunders takes us to a special one that happened Sunday at Lake Stephens as a family with a strong military legacy prepares to send off their son to basic training.
Jacob Miller graduated from Liberty High School just last week, and on Tuesday, he leaves for Marine boot camp.
Today, his family invited everyone to a lakeside picnic to see him off.
“It means a lot to be here and spend time with people, share another laugh, have food, have drinks just enjoy it make it peaceful even if I am nervous as can be,” Jacob Miller said. “I’m just trying to get my mind off of boot camp and focus on today and what’s happening now.”
Jacob is not the first one in his family to feel the call.
“I had two uncles who were both Marines in World War II and my father served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War,” Jacob’s dad, Jimmy Miller said. “I was a marine on active duty during the Persian Gulf war and now if Jacob ends up deployed to Afghanistan he will be serving in a war that started when he was three months old.”
This has given Jacob a sense of pride as he starts his new journey.
“It kind of feels good to be able to wear the same uniform, represent the same branch as what my family members did and everything,” Jacob said.
Originally, Jacob was supposed to leave in October after just enlisting in May, but plans changed. However, their send-off party then fell on an appropriate weekend.
“He graduated last Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon he received a text from his recruiter telling him he needed to go on Tuesday the 28th of May,” Jimmy said. “So it was a a scramble from that point to try to put something together, so it just turned out that it actually happened on Memorial Day, so it was a fitting tribute.”
“It means a lot to be able to head out this weekend and do my good bit as many others have died before me so to honor them and honor those who can’t serve,” Jacob said.
Jacob Miller leaves for Parris Island, South Carolina for basic training on Tuesday, and we all wish him the best of luck.