Torrington parents call Marine’s graduation indescribable

A. Marie Hamilton
Posted 1/27/23

TORRINGTON – Torrington residents Scott and Shelly Miller said it was an indescribable blessing to watch their son, 2022 Torrington High School (THS) graduate Hayden Scott Riggs-Miller, recently graduate from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Basic Training in San Diego, California.

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Torrington parents call Marine’s graduation indescribable


TORRINGTON – Torrington residents Scott and Shelly Miller said it was an indescribable blessing to watch their son, 2022 Torrington High School (THS) graduate Hayden Scott Riggs-Miller, recently graduate from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Basic Training in San Diego, California.

“He left for basic before high school graduation because he graduated from Torrington High School early,” Riggs-Miller’s father, Scott Miller, said. “He graduated from MCRD in San Diego at the end of 2022 and we are absolutely proud of the man he has become.”

Shortly after his graduation from MCRD, he married his wife, Andrea Miller, on Dec. 29, 2022, at which time his father said he packed his trailer and headed back to San Diego with his new wife.

“His mom and I are really proud of him – how he has become a good man, how he is achieving the dreams he set out for himself and now how he drove that trailer all the way from here in Torrington with his wife back to San Diego,” Miller explained.

“We sort of fretted a bit when he left with his grandpa’s truck, that his grandmother gave him, hauling a trailer for the first time,” Miller said. “However, he drove it as if he was a pro, and he kept us updated their entire trip from Wyoming to California.”

“It was really great to see him over Christmas and to watch him marry Andrea,” Miller said. “We are really proud of both of them and we look forward to what the future brings them.”

“He wanted to be a Marine since he was 12,” Miller further explained. “And he did it – for that, we absolutely couldn’t be more proud of his achievements.”

Riggs-Miller is stationed in San Diego as a private first class rifleman. 

“It’s difficult to describe the fulfilling and overwhelming emotions that he (Hayden Scott Riggs-Miller) gives his mother and I,” Miller said through a cracked voice. “He is an all around great kid: it’s an indescribable blessing to be his parents, but to also see him fulfill his dream – we are so happy to see him just take off chasing his dream.”

Miller recalled receiving a 13 second phone call from his son when he arrived at basic training. “It was such a whirlwind, I don’t think his mother and I had finished drying our tears when we got a call from Hayden, he said, ‘I’m here, I’m good, I’m safe, I love you, talk to you soon’ and that was it, it lasted about 13 seconds,” Miller explained. “It was that call that told us that everything is good and that we raised an extraordinary young man and we are pretty darn proud of him, it really is surreal for his mother and I.”

Hayden’s older brother, David Miller, 28, and his younger sister, Ainsley Miller, 13, also sent a message of congratulations to their brother as he begins his Marine career. Like their parents, David and Ainsley are proud of Hayden’s accomplishments and look forward to what the future will bring their family and Hayden as he progresses in his career and adjusts to married life.

When asked what advice Miller wanted to give his son, Miller said, “I’d tell him what we’ve always told him since he was younger – there’s nothing different – stay the course, work hard and go for your dreams every chance you get.”

As far as how Hayden chose his career in the Marines, his father said it had a lot to do with his own personal interests in shooting from a young age.

“He has always been very interested in shooting; he has been a part of several shooting clubs here in town (Torrington), in the county (Goshen) and in nearby cities such as Scottsbluff,” Miller explained. “I definitely helped teach him how to shoot, but Hayden is a natural born shooter.”

Scott Miller, a former Goshen County Sheriff Officer (GCSO), said he would take Hayden out shooting with his grandfather and himself.

“His grandfather gave him all sorts of guns and would routinely take him out shooting,” Miller explained. “He got pretty darn good and it didn’t take too long before Hayden could outshoot us all.”

Adding, “So, it seemed like a natural order of events for him to go into the rifleman career – and I really do think the Marines got the best end of the deal on that one.”

Looking toward the future plans and life goals Hayden has set, which he has spoken to his parents about, Miller said, “Be patient, be the best you can be – as a Marine, as an individual, as a husband and as a future father,” when asked about what advice he would give his son.

Miller also said, “I look forward to seeing Hayden become a father and to experience the level and depthness of love a father has for his child – but not just the love, the pride and the respect in watching that child become an adult and then seeing them achieve their dreams.”

Adding, “There’s no greater feeling in the world and I’m so lucky that I get to call my son a Marine.”

The Torrington natives said Hayden had many interests, such as working on cars and was big into video gaming, but not so much into sports.

“He really loved dabbling in auto mechanics and he was a natural at that,” Miller said. “We had thought for a short time, he might choose a career in auto mechanics in the Marines, but ultimately, he chose to go into the rifleman class.”
“That decision turned out to be the best so far, because he achieved ‘Top Shooter’ in the platoon during basic,” Miller stated.

However, his father said Hayden also “really loves hanging out with his friends and family. He always makes time for everyone and is very generous with his time and attention.”

“We wish him the best, his mom and I are absolutely proud of him and it’s indescribable to say how much we love him, how proud we are of him and how much we are looking forward to seeing what he does in his career and family life,” Miller said.

Miller said his son has not yet been given any deployment orders or station duties, but he is continuing his training and education as a rifleman; the Miller’s also look forward to seeing both Hayden and his wife Andrea home for the holidays.