Soldier laid to rest

Staff Sgt. Jason Miller, 25, a 2006 Elk Lake High School graduate, is laid to rest Wednesday afternoon at Sunnyside Cemetery in Tunkhannock. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

Staff Sgt. Jason Miller, 25, a 2006 Elk Lake High School graduate, is laid to rest Wednesday afternoon at Sunnyside Cemetery in Tunkhannock. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

BY ROBERT L. BAKER

A 25-year-old airman, who died Feb. 15 from complications related to surgery in January, was laid to rest in Sunnyside Cemetery in Tunkhannock last Wednesday afternoon.
Staff Sgt. Jason Miller received full military honors from about three dozen of his McGuire Air Force Base comrades who made the 3-hour journey from New Jersey.
“We’re just devastated that he’s gone,” Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Bouchee of the 305th Operations Support Squadron said.
His commanding officer, Lt. Col. Stephen Snelson, called Miller “Exceptional,” and noted, “We entrusted him with supervising some of our younger folks.”
At Miller’s funeral service, Rev. Tim Hintern announced that Miller was about to receive the Top Non Commissioned Officer Award of 2012 at McGuire AFB for his service in the 32nd Air Refueling Squadron.
That service included four months in Al Dhafra, United Arab Emirates, Chaplain Hintern said.
“This guy was not just good. He was real good,” Hintern said.
Miller’s mom, Debbie Casselbury fought back tears and said her “young man” did not know he had won the award, but she knew of his enthusiasm for the Air Force since he was an Elk Lake High School senior and asked if she minded if he joined up after graduation.
She told him to go for it, and he gave it everything,” Casselbury said.
His dad, Burton Miller, said, “Jason always gave 110 percent,” and he recalled about seven years ago his winning a PIAA District 2 wrestling title, even while nursing a dsislocated shoulder.
“He loved life,” Casselbury said.
“But the true test,” Chaplain Hintern said, was what Jason’s seven-year-old brother told the group gathered Wednesday.
“I want to be in the Air Force, just like him,” Caden Miller said.
Miller also leaves a wife and three-year-old son.