Ada veteran puts special forces fervor into Catholic faith

By Charles Albert
The Sooner Catholic

From his earliest days, Rick Miller had a plan for his life.

He carried a rosary with him every day and his plan was to enter the seminary and become a priest. But, Jesus had a different plan for him. Miller felt called to volunteer for a three-year deployment in the special forces during the Vietnam War. Upon discharge from the military as a Green Beret Sargent, he did many odd jobs and then landed a position with the U.S Secret Service, working his way up to a special agent.

As Veteran’s Day approaches on Nov. 11, veterans like Miller, a parishioner at Saint Joseph in Ada, said the real heroes are the ones who gave it all for their county and didn’t come home.

“In comparison, I did very little and hardly anything glamorous,” he said.

However, he has devoted his life to one of service to his country, his family and his Catholic faith.

He worked for the secret service for 21 years and started as a counter sniper sharpshooter stationed on top of the White House, guarding presidents from Ford to Reagan and their families. As a special agent, he also was assigned to work in field offices to work counterfeit and fraud cases, and investigate threats against presidents.

During this time, Miller, 67, occasionally attended Mass in whatever city, state or country he was located, but he would not rate his Catholic faith at that time as very strong or a great example for others because he wasn’t involved in the Church.

However, in 2011, he started to carry a rosary and go to confession regularly, and then in 2012, he joined the Knights of Columbus and started to become actively involved within the Church.

When his wife, Laura, came into his life that same year and started her Catholic formation, both of their lives changed. They wanted to serve God together in ways they never thought of before.

Rick and Laura Miller were married in 2014. Fellow parishioners Sandy and Doug Poe said, “Rick and Laura are powerful witnesses to the Sacrament of Marriage. They flew to Rome to have their marriage blessed by Pope Francis.”

In the past six years, Rick Miller has put the same fervor into his faith that allowed him to rise to the top of special forces, the U.S. Secret Service and at the Los Angeles Police Department. He has risen in the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree as the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City district marshal, leading honor guards throughout the state.

He is a member of Knights on Bikes, is an elected member of the Saint Joseph Parish Council in Ada, treasurer for Knights of Columbus Council #1560, a marriage preparation team member along with Laura Miller, he volunteers for Meals on Wheels in Ada and is a communion minister and usher.

“He is very humble and modest with his history and most people have no idea the service of protection he has done and is doing for our country,” Laura Miller said.

“Just when I think we have done enough,” Rick Miller said, “God always blesses us with a plan of something new and challenging to accomplish. I am grateful to have lived long enough to realize God’s plan for salvation.”

Charles Albert is a freelance writer for the Sooner Catholic.