ALLEGANY, NY - An Army major from Western New York, wounded several years ago in a shooting at Fort Hood, is the inspiration behind a big fundraiser for veterans in need.
The fundraiser has been held in the past, but on a smaller scale. This year’s was much bigger.
Major Patrick Miller, the pride of Allegany, organized the concert fundraiser at Fireman’s Park. All funds raised will go to organizations that help veterans.
“Everything we do and every decision we make is done in the intent of raising money and awareness for wounded warriors and homeless veterans,” Miller said.
Helping some of the most vulnerable veterans is a mission Miller began a couple years ago, when he recovered from wounds he suffered in the Fort Hood shooting.
Since then, Miller has found new meaning in service.
“Being this close to not being here, obviously it hits home and it makes you appreciate everything that much more,” Miller said.
As shots were being fired, Miller, after being shot in the stomach, directed people to safety.
“Think about the sacrifice that Major Miller has made on behalf of us our community our state and our great country,” said State Senator Cathy Young.
Miller has received numerous awards for his heroic actions.
And Sunday he was honored again, recognized for being inducted into the State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.
“I want to dedicate this to my mother Carol,” Miller said. His mother is battling stage 3 multiple myeloma.
“Despite the hand that she continues to be dealt, she continues to smile and put everybody else above herself,” Miller said. “Thanks, Mom. Keep fighting.”
Miller says he wants to continue to hold this annual fundraiser, which this year, saw Platinum-selling country music band Parmalee.
“Really wanted to increase the size and scope and ultimately, the impact that we have not just wounded warriors or wounded veterans but homeless veterans,” Miller said.
The last two summers, Miller has had the fundraiser at the Allegany Knights of Columbus, a smaller venue that brought in about $3,000 each year. This year, Miller says more than $12,000 is expected to be raised.