Beaufort’s Mr. Baseball honored for legacy, service

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Photo above: George Miller, 81, has served the greater Beaufort community in a wide variety of ways. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Editor’s note: The following is a speech written by American Legion Post #9 Commander Chuck Lurey to honor George Miller on George Miller Day at the  American Legion Ospreys alumni game about his contributions to the community and his love for his family.  We wish all dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day.

By Chuck Lurey

The Readers Digest. Have any of you read the magazine? This is going way back, but do any of you remember the article they had in each issue on “The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met.”

Each character struck home in the life of the writer. These characters enriched lives through humor, wisdom, adventure and affection, each possessing a unique regard for humanity, each a gem reflecting its own light.

George Miller is the most unforgettable character I ever met and I am going to tell you why by covering his biography, his traits of character and action and what he has done for our American Legion Post.

George served in the Marine Corps for close to 25 years. 

He joined in 1956 and served at Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, Indianapolis, Parris Island, Okinawa, The Philippines, Korea and Vietnam.

He won numerous awards, including the Purple Heart for combat wounds. He left active service in 1979. 

Not wanting to be too far from the Marines, he continued to be of service to the country in the Civil Service at Parris Island for another 22 years, retiring in 2001.

George’s service to Beaufort County and South Carolina is truly exceptional. 

His civic work is wide-ranging and includes volunteering and working with Wounded Warriors, Veteran’s Homes, AMVETS, the American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, the Purple Heart Association, his church, and, of course, American Legion Baseball. George is active in all of these and more.

He has a wonderful biography, but here is why George is my pick for a most unforgettable character:

Have you ever met a person who has never said a bad thing about someone else?

Have you ever met a person whom you have never heard anyone speak ill of anyone?

Have you met someone who is more respected by young and old than George?

Have you met someone who never, ever says no when asked for a favor or help?

How about someone who is always first to get on the job, works the hardest and is last to leave?

I have never seen the man react negatively and never seen him complain. Never.

How many people do you know who can round up a large group of volunteers at the spur of the moment? 

The frequent answer is, “If George Miller is asking, count me in.”

Do you know someone more loyal to his friends, family, church, than George?

Carol and George have been married for over 50 years and she has worked with him on all of his projects and organizations while still doing her own thing.

But if you really want to get George talking, ask him about his children and grandchildren. 

He is proud of and loves his children, Danny and Wendy, and the younger ones Delaney, Christopher and Chandler, and of course his daughter-in-law, Lisa.

I asked a Wendy about her father and she talked for a half an hour about what a wonderful father and person he is. 

George has also been active in the same church for 40 years. He is on their board now, and his faith is personal but undeniable.

George is the most humble, gentle, truly nice person whom I have ever known, and that is why he is an unforgettable character. 

In my view he is all that we should strive to be.

As far as baseball and Post 9, he has touched so many lives in Beaufort. He is Mr. Baseball to many. He has played baseball and softball all his life in the Marines and in Beaufort County.

In 1997, Dean Morrsey and Robert Neblung asked George to get involved with Legion Ball and he is still doing the job. 

Since then countless of young men have benefited from his baseball skills, leadership and example. 

Many have gone on to play at a higher level, many of them went on to be high achievers and all are better men for it. 

Anywhere you go in Beaufort County, men he has coached and their families will greet George with a hug or a good handshake. 

George truly has a legacy. 

I have been in Legion Post 9 for about five years. When I first came I saw one of the oldest and best posts in the state relying on one guy. George carried the Post. In some cases he still does.

I do not want to diminish the efforts of others, but George ran Legion Baseball. George ran the golf tournament. George solicited and collected all donations. He was, and is, the liaison between Post 9 and all the other service organizations. George ran the trips and donations to the Victory House in Walterboro for Post 9 and all the other VSOs. George visited the sick and attended funerals. He still does so, but with a bit more help.

It is only in recent years that Post 9 we have been able to attract more active members and we now have a multitude of programs, activities and contributions in support of veterans and Beaufort.

Post 9 will always owe George a tremendous debt for his service to baseball, Post 9 and the community. 

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