ALLEGANY, N.Y. – Patrick Miller hasn't lived in Allegany in more than a decade.
But when word spread that the U.S. Army Major had been injured in the Fort Hood shooting, they rallied around him as though he'd never left.
"We've all been best friends from knee-high to grasshopper. And Pat's been the glue that's held us together since we got out of high school," Jeff Chouinard said. "This is a wound on his belt, but he'll move on."
Friends said Miller, 32, is expected to make a full recovery after the gunman shot him in the abdomen. While his wife attended to him in Texas, Miller's hometown buddies organized a prayer service at the Allegany Baptist Church on Thursday night.
They brought an enormous "Get Well" poster for everybody to sign, accumulating a hefty dose of signatures to send to Miller in Texas. Outside of the church, his friends recalled their days at Allegany-Limestone High School, where Miller played a variety of sports.
But Miller may be more well-known for the way he watches sports. Chouinard and Dustin Bottone, another lifelong friend, said Miller is perhaps the biggest Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres fan on the planet. Bottone said they bought season tickets together at Ralph Wilson Stadium a few years ago.
"He's like a brother," Bottone said. "We're just trying to get the community together, to be there for Pat to let him know that even though we're far away, we're thinking about him."