Saratoga David Taylor Miller was killed by a suicide bomb in Afghanistan in June 2010, but before the tragedy that earned him a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, the Army had been a life-changing experience for the Saratoga Springs High School graduate.
“It was really the Army that motivated Taylor to get in shape. For years he fought his weight and eating properly,” said Suzanne D’Iorio, Miller’s aunt.
Last Veteran’s Day, Miller’s name was added to the Saratoga County Veterans Monument and his mother said she was forming the organization Taylor’s Heroes to celebrate her son’s life.
Now, Taylor’s Heroes is hosting its first fundraiser on Veteran’s Day (and what would have been Miller’s 21st birthday) at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs at 7 p.m.
“It’s going to be a really fun night, a rock and roll theme. We’re going to have paparazzi there taking pictures of people when they arrive like they’re rock stars. We’ll have a Guitar Hero station for adults, people putting purple feathers in women’s hair if they want it and applying rock and roll style makeup and temporary tattoos and a photo booth,” said D’Iorio.
The fundraiser is in a Guitar Hero theme, something D’Iorio and Miller’s mother, Leslie, knew Miller would love.
“We thought Guitar Hero worked with Taylor’s Heroes and if Taylor were alive for his 21st birthday he would want it to be a fun rock theme and would want everybody to have a great time,” said D’Iorio. “He would have been thrilled by this big party for him.”
Taylor’s Heroes will promote fitness and nutrition to kids in Saratoga County to symbolize Miller’s healthy lifestyle later in life. Kids will be able to apply online and if chosen, will have various healthy opportunities available to them.
“They’re going to have a choice between trying a yoga class or getting help with a running coach to learn how to run properly, take spin classes for a month, basketball basics, swimming,” said D’Iorio. “We’re going to work with them for three months to get them to find that one thing.”