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USTA Georgia
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Father receives good news at Nationals

October 29, 2016 09:04 PM

By Cory Kamerschak, special to USTA.com

SURPRISE, ARIZ. – The men’s 9.0 team representing the Southern Section got off to a hot start in the Adult 55 and Over National Championships, going 2-0 on the first day. But that excitement would finish a distant second compared to the news that one of the team’s members, Byron Miller, found out later that evening.

“My wife called me on FaceTime and said ‘guess who’s here?’ and then my son emerges and he’s on the screen at my house in Louisville, Kentucky,” Miller said. “I was just completely floored. He got an early release from his tour in Afghanistan.”

Miller’s son, Ben Miller, is a 1st Lieutenant and an Airborne Ranger in the Army and was not projected to be back from his deployment to Afghanistan until mid-November. Byron, who retired from the Army as a colonel after 30 years of service in 2006, left Louisville with his team to head to the National Championships on Wednesday and missed seeing his son by two days.

When Byron got the good news, he was with the rest of his team. Rob Maxwell is on the team and has been friends with Byron for 20 years.

“He was jumping up and down inside the house he just couldn’t believe it,” Maxwell said. “He was just so elated knowing that his son was out of harm’s way.”

Miller, who is also the captain of the team, appreciated the support from his teammates.

“I was ecstatic and the guys kept coming in and giving me a high five, and afterwards they were giving me a hug,” Miller said, “It was just a really sweet moment.”

Although he wishes he was home to see his son, Byron is happy to be at the National Championships and with the group of guys he’s here with.

When the tournament concludes, Byron will fly back to Louisville on Monday and have an opportunity to visit his son for just a brief time when they cross paths in the airport, as the youngest Miller will be flying back to his unit in Georgia at Hunter Army Airfield.

Although it’s bittersweet being here while his son is back in Louisville for a surprise visit, he says playing for the chance to be a national champion makes it slightly less bitter.