LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -
Sometimes we go through struggles and think, why is this happening to me? Well 14 years ago, Army Sergeant Kari Miller's life changed forever. As one dream was shattered, Miller picked herself up and pursued a life that turns out was made just for her.
"I wanted to be General Miller," Miller said. "You know stars, walking in, everyone saluting me, yeah that's what I wanted."
That career path though was not meant to be for Kari. While at home in Washington D.C. in December of 1999 preparing to go to officer candidate school, Miller was a passenger in a car that was hit by a drunk driver. Kari had to have both of her legs amputated, leaving her to question things.
"Why me," She asked herself. "It started off as why me this sucks, but then went to, am I destined for bigger things?"
The answer was yes. Miller was an athlete before the accident and used sports as a recovery method to keep her mind off of the fact she now had no legs. "The recovery process was after I found sports," Said miller. "After I went out and got to kick peoples butts at things, it gave me confidence moving forward and let me know there was a path that I could follow."
That path was to become a paralympian. Miller tried wheelchair basketball at first before finding a sport that fit her perfectly, sitting volleyball. "I totally feel free, you know I walk around all day and have prosthetics, when I am playing volleyball, I have on nothing," Miller said. "I can throw myself around and across the court."
Miller joined the U.S. Paralympics Women's Sitting Volleyball National Team in 2006 and quickly became the staple behind two silver medal finishes at both the Beijing and London games. In 2010, Kari was named the top libero in the world.
Now, teaming up with mothers against drunk driving, Miller is in east texas, sharing her story with law enforcement and high schools."Legacy, what it is you want to leave behind as a person, I think that is what its important," Kari said. "Also, resilience, not giving up. Looking forward and understanding there will always be obstacles."
So her life may not have turned out like she wanted and has to wear prosthetic legs, but all in all Kari says, " It sucks I dont have legs, but also it turned into a pretty great life."