Back in 2011, Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken attended a training exercise hosted by the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Milliken was killed in action in Somalia on May 5, but his presence at that event left a lasting impression on the team.
Tom Brady delivered a video message to Milliken’s loved ones at his funeral in Norfolk, Va., last week, The Boston Herald’s Bill Speros reported Saturday. In the video, which was not made available to the public, the Patriots quarterback gave his condolences, thanked Milliken’s family for their service and recounted how Milliken’s track coach at UConn considered him a “glue guy.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft also remembered Milliken fondly in a statement he made to the Herald.
“It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011,” Kraft said. “It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.
“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”
Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in Somalia since the 1990s. His mother, Dotti Nickerson, sent a note to Speros.
“Kyle touched so many people in his lifetime, and those people are forever changed by his presence,” Nickerson wrote. “My son is a hero in every sense of the word. Kyle gave his all and gave it with love. I will miss his smile, his jokes, and his sincere kindness, every day of my life.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images