Veteran services

Iraqi veteran helps motivate Miami Valley Young Marines

Miller was born in Kentucky and spent part of his youth in Florida before moving to Ohio and graduating from Miami East High School in Miami County.

He joined Marine Reserves in Dayton in 2000 and discovered young Marines through the Reserves Unit.

He served in Iraq and is also active in veterans organizations.

“By doing this, young Marines and veterans groups, you continue to serve,” Miller said. “That’s something I learned from John Bankowitz and other mentors in this program.” Bankowitz was the unit’s former commander.

He and Miller also serve together on the Miami County Veterans Services Commission and Miller is active in the Troy AmVets organization.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Dayton and works for OnSolve.

He and his wife, Tina, have three children – Ian, Kira and Owen – aged two to six. Tina is also involved with the Young Marines.

Miller’s work with the Young Marines is entirely voluntary. “With Young Marines, I not only do mentorship, but I also meet a lot of great people and mentors in the program,” he said.

Noting that drug prevention is a big focal point for the organization, Miller said he hopes the community has benefited from drug prevention efforts. The unit has been a recipient of the Camarena five times, he said.

Although it is a national program, Miller said Young Marines were not as familiar to people as other youth programs such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. “It’s like a hidden gem,” he said. More young Marines are always welcome, Miller said

His nomination as a community gem was “kind of humbling,” Miller said, noting that he had read about other celebrities and been impressed by them.