Tribute by Jennifer Dantzer

Published by: Killeen Daily Herald

Dear Mr policemen

Written by: Ann Brown

A very special thanks to Ann for all of her love, support and prayers during all of this.  Ann you are a truly God sent blessing and friend in my life.

Tribute to Mallory

 

Tribute to Mallory Miller

August 24, 1979—December 13,2007

Not in my wildest dreams or in the darkest corners of my imagination did I ever think that my next entry on this website would have anything close to the words “In Memory Of”.  I can honestly say that this is by far the hardest entry for me thus far and I truly pray that this will be the last of this nature in my lifetime.  I truly wish I knew exactly where to start.

In Memory of Mallory Miller is a fitting start, but is something I never in my life wanted to be writing or hearing.  I have known Mallory since 1991 when he attended Eastern Hills Middle School in Harker Heights, Texas.  I had the honor of having him as an explorer in the program that I took charge of while I was an officer at the Harker Height Police Dept.  Mallory was for sure one of the most eager and dedicated young adults in the group putting in countless hours to any task taken on by the explorers or assisting officers with daily duties.  I truly enjoyed having him as a rider in my unit because he looked for any and everything out of the ordinary, with the only draw back being that he wanted to take any and everybody to jail and stop them for every little violation.  I think one of his greatest joys was filling out the tickets often times leaving me no option of a warning due to him having most of the ticket filled out before I returned to the patrol unit after my initial contact with the violator.

I remember many days while I worked in Harker Heights being called up to Eastern Hills Middle School to have a friendly chat with Mallory after some act of misconduct.  You see, Mallory being the hyper little thing that he was had been put on medication by a physician and would be required to take one pill daily which his mother would watch him take when she dropped him off for school.  Little did Beverly know, Mallory had perfected the art of tucking the pill up into his cheek so when he opened his mouth to show her, it appeared to be gone.  Even after being required to sit in front of the school nurse and take his pill, Mallory would rush into the cafeteria and raid the soda machine where he quickly downed a coke, a drink which he had been prohibited from having during school hours.  I distinctly remember one call from Ms. Sloan, the school principal where Mallory had taken it upon himself to become the hall monitor and began to make corrective actions.  Well the incident did not quite go as planned and when the student did not comply with his orders, Mallory used that force which was necessary to gain compliance of a kid which was much bigger than he.  I honestly lost count on the number of times I was called to the school, and I was also very thankful that I was on day shift for most of the calls.  Know that I would not trade any of those memories for anything.  I think my upper hand in all matters with Mallory back then was to threaten to suspend him from the explorer program which was a big part of his life and dream of becoming a police officer.  And  in case I did not mention, not that he loved to fight, but he was definitely not one to ever back down no matter how big the opponent or how stacked the odds were against him which sometimes did not match well with his little firecracker attitude.

As Mallory grew older I also had the pleasure of meeting more and more of his family and close friends.  Apryl, Thomas, Charlotte, Jodie, Cody, Robin and so many others who became among the best friends in Mallory’s life.  But along with this new group came more of a challenge for me for keeping up with them and hopefully somehow manage to steer them in the right direction in life.  There are many stories from this period that will mostly be told only among friends.  Mallory’s many cars and accidents, some of which I found out later he was not yet license to drive and his many adventures during the high school days.

Mallory and I stayed very close over the next few years speaking quite often and sharing our life stories.  During his journeys from Austin to Corpus to Dallas and all in between Mallory touched many lives, brought on many smiles and warmed many hearts.  During his travels, for those who knew his driving skills which he claims to have gotten from me among a few other things, he manages to be pulled over on numerous occasions by state troopers and other police officers.   It was at this point in life that I found out that there was a step son and apparently a wife in my life that I was unaware of.  Being the clever witty person that he was who could get out of most anything,  Mallory claimed to be my step son telling the officers that his step dad was a trooper and he would be in tons of trouble if he received a ticket.  This to my knowledge occurred at least four times, so who knows how many more there could be.  I remember once receiving a call from a trooper in Hillsboro, TX who advised that he had pulled my step son over, I think I must have replied with who?   The trooper then asks if I had a step son named Mallory Miller.  The Trooper advised that he had pulled Mallory over for traveling more than 20 miles over the speed limit.  And being the lucky loveable guy that he was I vouched for him and he was sent on his way.  I called Mallory a few minutes later to find out what was going on, to which his replied that he was on his way to the club in Austin and was running late.  You see, Mallory to my knowledge never got to many things on time in is life except for work, and now for the first time he has chosen to be extremely early for an appointment in his life that can never be changed or rescheduled.

One of my most memorable moments that I will always cherish is back in 1997 when I was struck by a vehicle while working as a trooper.  I received numerous injuries which caused me to be off work for several months.  During the first few days, Mallory barely left my side; he would come to the house and remain most of the day sitting on the floor by the sofa at my side, doing any and everything to assist me.  Even though my Mom was present, Mallory would still insist on doing things and if she would fix my pillow, Mallory would make it better.  I also had a boston terrier (Harley) which he was crazy about.  Mallory would take Harley grocery shopping with him regardless of what store employees would tell him about animals in the store, Harley remained in the shopping cart and after the first couple trips and a few friendly comments from Mallory, no one dared say anything else to him about the dog.

The stories of all the great times we had together could go on forever.  Mallory, Apryl, Thomas and the rest of the gang kept me quite busy and contributed greatly to my gray and hair loss.   I have also had to honor of meeting other special people in Mallory’s life from Dallas, Houston and other areas.  I pray that all of you will evaluate your lives and don’t worry about the things you have done because they cannot be changed.  I want you to look at who you are now and who you want to be or have the desire to become and make that someone you are proud of.  Be true to yourselves.  Thanks for your friendships.

I wish I could say that Mallory’s early death was an accident on his part.  But knowing him like I have and watching him change and his past cries for help I know differently in my heart.  I made several trips to visit him after the death of his mother in February 2007.  This was a serious blow to Mallory and one that would cause his cup to run over along with his past life struggles.  Another major blow was when due to unfortunate circumstances he lost any opportunity of becoming a police officer.  I can say that he often dwelled on this during our conversations.  There were also many other issues in life that Mallory was not happy with.  I was very proud of him when he went into rehab after the death of his mother Beverly and knew in my heart that he was getting his life on the right track and that everything would be ok.  Well, upon leaving rehab, Mallory failed to do appropriate follow-ups and required classes and chose alternative means for not feeling the pains which life had brought his way caused by his shattered dreams and losses in life.  This is a road which I once traveled and a road that is very difficult and a constant struggle to keep off of.  Once on this road, it can lead to destruction if you allow it to.  All the alternative means of not feeling the pain are only temporary relief and make things a hell of a lot worse once their effect wears off.  Unless you have traveled this road do not judge, only listen and learn so that you might help others.

I last saw Mallory on Friday, December 7, 2007 and spoke to him either he 8th or 9th, just days before this fatal event.  By his behavior I never would have thought or imagined that anything like this was going to occur.  Considering the state I had seen him in just months before the road to recovery looked good.  Upon attending the homecoming services for Mallory on December 18, 2007 and talking to others present, I realized that it is highly possible that he was saying his final farewell.  Mallory and I had not spoken in over a month prior to the week before his death.  We had a difference in opinion which lead to him pushing me out of his life, Mallory had also told another friend that he was upset with me because every time we spoke I had been critical of his actions and said things he did not want to hear.  I should have continued to go the direction I was going but instead chose to back off and give him time and space.  All of a sudden, on day I find I am getting phone calls and text messages from Mallory wanting us to go out together and meet for lunch.  I feel truly blessed and fortunate that I was able to meet him that Friday.  During our discussion, the loss of his Mother as in the past months was weighing very heavy on him especially with the upcoming holidays.

This is another in my life that could not be saved.  Even with me knowing that, it does not lessen the pain or make the hurt go away any quicker.  To me, Mallory wore many hats; he was among my best friends, like a step-son, a nurturer and a protector just to name a few.  He had this special ability to touch others like no one I have ever seen.   He always treated others fairly and would go out of his way to lend that helping hand.  I truly wish he could have understood as we do how important he is to us all and how much he is needed in our lives.  That smile, that hug, that friendly hand on the shoulder and that straight forward confident attitude of his will truly be missed.  Even though the tears I shed now are those of sadness hurt and pain, I pray that they will soon turn to those of joy.  Joy because I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful person in my life, and being a part of his life and most of those whom he surrounded himself with.  One hell of an entourage my friend, one hell of an entourage.

Luv Ya

Heavens Blessings Mal