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Meet the Millers

Senior Airman Keith Miller, right, describes to Staff Sgt. Danielle Miller what broke on the starter for a six-passenger pickup truck at the 108th Wing Vehicle Maintenance Shop at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Jan. 11, 2015. Staff Sgt. Miller is a vehicle management and analysis technician with the 108th Vehicle Management Section, while Senior Airman Miller is a general purpose mechanic with the 108th Vehicle Maintenance Shop. Vehicle maintenance is part of the 108th Logistics Readiness Squadron, New Jersey Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

Senior Airman Keith Miller, right, describes to Staff Sgt. Danielle Miller what broke on the starter for a six-passenger pickup truck at the 108th Wing Vehicle Maintenance Shop at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Jan. 11, 2015. Staff Sgt. Miller is a vehicle management and analysis technician with the 108th Vehicle Management Section, while Senior Airman Miller is a general purpose mechanic with the 108th Vehicle Maintenance Shop. Vehicle maintenance is part of the 108th Logistics Readiness Squadron, New Jersey Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

Staff Sgt. Danielle Miller, enters a work order at the 108th Wing Vehicle Management Section, New Jersey Air National Guard, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Jan. 10, 2015. Miller is a vehicle management and analysis technician assigned to Vehicle Maintenance, which is part of the 108th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

Staff Sgt. Danielle Miller, enters a work order at the 108th Wing Vehicle Management Section, New Jersey Air National Guard, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Jan. 10, 2015. Miller is a vehicle management and analysis technician assigned to Vehicle Maintenance, which is part of the 108th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

Senior Airman Keith Miller, replaces a starter on a six-passenger pickup truck at the 108th Wing Vehicle Maintenance Shop, New Jersey Air National Guard, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Jan. 11, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

Senior Airman Keith Miller, replaces a starter on a six-passenger pickup truck at the 108th Wing Vehicle Maintenance Shop, New Jersey Air National Guard, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Jan. 11, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst --      The Guard is family.

     Case in point.

     Danielle Bunyea and Keith Miller first met at Port Hueneme, Calif., Danielle was from Washington state and Keith was from New Jersey.

     "We were both at the same tech school in 2008," said Senior Airman Keith Miller.

     Danielle was training to become a vehicle management and analysis technician - Keith was attending the vehicle maintenance school. Danielle's school was six weeks, while Keith's was eight months.

     They became friends.

     And it might have ended there, except their initial assignment placed them both at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.

     The friendship continued.

     Vehicle Maintenance is divided into two or three sections, depending on the size of the base. At Malmstrom, Danielle worked in the vehicle management section, which managed the fleet of military and commercial design vehicles and heavy equipment, while Keith worked in the vehicle maintenance shop.

     "I worked on Humvees and MRAPs (mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles)," said Keith. "Danielle handled the administrative and parts ordering."

     Being on active duty also meant that they deployed a lot.

     "Between the two of us, we have spent years a part due to deployments," said Staff Sgt. Danielle Miller. "Keith might be on a seven-month deployment and I would be on seven month deployment, but our time together might only be a month between deployments."

     That time apart strengthened their relationship.

     A change in the Malmstrom leadership got them thinking about new options. Danielle wanted to go to school to get her degree in nursing and with all the deployments, she had the Post-9/11 GI Bill to pay the way.

     This led them to think about joining the Guard.

     "Our whole goal was to stay together in the Guard," said Keith.

     "After we decided to join the Guard it was either Washington or New Jersey," said Danielle. "He has a large family back here and I could go to school anywhere, so we decided on New Jersey."

      Danielle arrived at the 108th Wing in September 2013 while Keith went on terminal leave and didn't join the unit until November. Both work in the 108th Wing Vehicle Maintenance and both have the same jobs they had at Malmstrom.

     They got married.

     Being in the same shop has a lot of pluses.

     "When you discuss military aspects of the job, you don't have to explain everything because we work in the same shop," said Danielle.

     Another is training and deployments. "We have to do all our training together," said Danielle. "Here in the Guard we can volunteer for the same deployments."

     As a family, in the Guard.