Father and son share emotional visit to war memorials

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Alvin Miller Sr. was among the 70 WWII veterans who took the last Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in early November.

The trip had special meaning to him because his son went along as his guardian.

This was not the only father-son team on the flight. The trip for both Miller's was nothing short of extraordinary, because of what happened decades ago.

"My dad and I were separated for 60 years," said Alvin Miller Jr. as the flight was about to leave Gulfport.

"We had virtually no contact. I did not know where he was and he had no idea where I was for all that time."

Alvin Miller Sr. and his wife had divorced when their son was only 4-years-old. That's how they lost contact with one another.

With the help of Facebook, they eventually hooked up about two years ago. Both have felt very blessed since they got back together.

"This trip is all about my dad. This is his opportunity to reflect on his days in the war, so long ago."

Then it was off to the capital with the other veterans.

After their first stop at the WWII Memorial, Alvin Miller Sr. talked about what it meant to him.

"I am so thankful I have lived long enough to come here with my son," said Alvin Miller Sr.

"To have him here meant more than I can put into words."

The Miller's would then go to the place that honors the fallen from another war, the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Alvin Miller Jr. was a medic in Vietnam, so it had special meaning to him.

As he approached the wall for the very first time, his years of pent up emotions over the war and all he had been through, began to come to the surface.

"I am about ready to bust out crying," said Alvin Miller Jr.

He could not help but think of those he served with, and wonder how many are on the wall.

"I promise you there are a lot of guys I knew, guys I went to boot camp with, guys I served with."

He spent a few minutes at the wall on that November day, just looking at all the names.

As he was leaving, he shed a tear and saluted his fallen comrades.

For the father and son, the journey to Washington was all about getting to know one another again, and giving thanks.

Both had made it through their own wars, and now were able to be together again, after all those years.

It was truly a journey that neither man will ever forget.

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