Pfc. Cale Miller died in combat in Afghanistan on May 24. The 23-year-old was an Olathe native.
Miller was deployed with the Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.
On Monday, his body returned to the Kansas City area. Miller and his family received an incredible show of support and appreciation for his service and sacrifice during the somber homecoming.
"We want the family to know how much we support them and love them. And we appreciate their sacrifice, and their son will never be forgotten," said Mikayla Dreyer, organizer of Community 4 Cale.
It was a beautiful and overwhelming show of support, as hundreds of families lined up along 151st Street, holding dozens of flags and signs.
Many families wore red, white and blue as they stood in support of Miller, who graduated from Olathe Northwest in 2007.
"I'm proud of your son and your soldier," said George Chesney, a veteran of the Marine Corps.
The Patriot Guard joined the Olathe police and fire departments in escorting his body from New Century airport to the Penwell-Gable funeral home on Black Bob Road.
"Our young brothers and sisters are fighting for our country in a faraway place and we have to remember that and show them the honor and respect they are due and for the job they are carrying out over there. And when they fall we have to recognize that," Vietnam veteran Robert Kobler said.
Many people came out on Monday who never met Miller, but wanted to support the brave soldier and his family.
"My heart goes out to the family. Debbie is my boss. She works for human services and my heart goes out to her and the entire family. Cale did an honorable thing and it breaks our heart, but we know something good will come out of this," family friend Sharon Moore said.
Some, though, in the crowd were strangers. Robert Kobler, a veteran of the Vietnam War, traveled from Leavenworth County with his grandchildren.
"We want to show them the honor and respect they are due and for the job they are carrying out over there," Kobler said. "And when they fall, we have to recognize that."
His twin grandchildren were touched by Miller's sacrifice.
"I'm sad," said Laura Lammers-Meis, 9.
"We want to honor the man who died and who fought for our freedom," said Jacob Lammers-Meis.
Organizers of Monday's event are raising money to create a special memorial bench for Miller. If anyone would like to learn more about that effort and make a donation, there is a Community 4 Cale Facebook page set up with more information. Click here to view the page.
The community was also invited to a celebration of life ceremony Wednesday at Grace United Methodist Church in Olathe. Gov. Sam Brownback has ordered that flags across Kansas fly at half-staff Wednesday.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Wednesday, December 4 2013 8:12 PM EST2013-12-05 01:12:59 GMT
A pedestrian crossing Interstate 35 in the Northland was killed after striking the front windshield of a Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. This occurred northbound lanes of I-35 just past theMore >
A pedestrian crossing Interstate 35 in the Northland was killed after striking the front windshield of a Kansas City Area Transportation Authority bus. It was first day on the job for the driver, who graduated first in her class. More >
Tuesday, December 3 2013 6:04 PM EST2013-12-03 23:04:20 GMT
The man accused in a quadruple murder in Parsons, KS, was in court Monday. David Bennett, Jr. is accused of killing Cami Umbarger and her three children. He appeared in court through a video feed fromMore >
The man accused in a quadruple murder in Parsons, KS, was in court Monday.More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 2:11 PM EST2013-12-04 19:11:21 GMT
A homicide occurred on Sunday at Arrowhead where the Kansas City Chiefs and Broncos played each other.More >
The man who died following a struggle at Arrowhead Stadium during the Chiefs game is the son of an area police sergeant. Three who were taken into custody and questioned as part of the death investigation were released Monday. More >
A wintry storm pushing through the western half of the country is bringing bitterly cold temperatures that prompted safety warnings for residents in the Rockies and threatened crops as far south as California.More >
The jet stream hunkered to the south Wednesday, promising to bring nearly a week of temperatures that could dip to minus 20 or worse in the northern midsection of the country, and forcing much of the rest of the nation to...More >
Tuesday, December 3 2013 11:27 PM EST2013-12-04 04:27:37 GMT
After more than 20 years police say they have made an arrest for a Clay County cold case investigation. Now prosecutors are charging a woman with second degree murder from 1990. The Clay County sheriffMore >
Authorities say they have arrested a woman in connection with an August 1990 slaying because the case nagged an investigator who is now sheriff.More >
Tuesday, December 3 2013 2:15 PM EST2013-12-03 19:15:04 GMT
Two Liberty parents are angry tonight, as they wonder how their seven year old daughter managed to walk out of school unnoticed, and walk home by herself. "Crossing the train tracks was fun," Emily BoxMore >
A 7-year-old walked home by herself from her Liberty elementary school. She had to cross train tracks and walk more than a mile. Her parents want to know how it could have happened. More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 4:50 PM EST2013-12-04 21:50:19 GMT
Skydivers killed over Eloy
Two skydivers are dead and a third was injured after colliding midair during a jump over a southern Arizona community, the FAA said.More >
The victims were from the United Kingdom (pictured on the right) and Germany (seen on the left). Both skydivers had open parachutes when they collided about 200 to 300 feet above the ground near Eloy and their canopies collapsed.More >