Thank you for engaging so fiercely and so passionately in our industry

Patrick Naeger

It is with great sadness and shock that I learned this morning of Van Miller's passing. Van Miller, the founder of the VGM Group passed away Sunday at his home. Van has indeed been a hero in our industry and the truest of friends! Regardless of whether you ever belonged to VGM or not, Van Miller was always there to help! Few people I have ever associated with in my life have ever left me with the impression Van Miller left with me. Van Miller was inspiring! One could not help but to be motivated when he was engaging you. Van Miller was an extraordinary figure to so many, but wanted most, to simply appear ordinary.

Van and I had our best talk ever about a year ago, at a great VGM event, as they are, always! Van and I talked about our past, and come to find out, we both had served in the United States Army, and we were both Combat Medics! This was a bond that brought us together in a special way and a conversation I will always cherish. A couple weeks after that, I sent him one of my old unit patches. About a week later, he sent me a note back, thanking me for the patch and ensured me it was going amongst other treasures that adorned his office! I recently had the good fortune just weeks ago to spend some quality time with him again, and I am grateful that I did. I even told my wife after my last visit with Van that if I had to work for someone, I could work for Van Miller!

To all my friends at The VGM Group, a big part of our MAMES family, I can't imagine the sadness you are feeling and the void you must be experiencing. I pray for your strength and perseverance through these very sad times. While there is no doubt VGM is strong, it has lost a great leader. But any of us who know the character of the VGM team, know you will continue to make Van proud as he looks down from heaven, because that is who each of you are, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

To Christine, Vance, Dax, Christopher and the whole Miller family, words cannot begin to express the sadness we feel for the heart break you must be experiencing. You will remain in our prayers and know we are thinking of you. Thank you for sharing this amazing man with us, we are so blessed, as you are to have had him in our lives!

Van Miller, thank you for being in our lives and engaged so fiercely and so passionately in our industry. Because of you, we truly are better off! Van Miller will be sorely missed and never replaced.

May you rest in peace my friend!

Patrick Naeger is executive vice president of Healthcare Equipment & Supply Co., and president of the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services.