As he's done most days for the last 30 years, Rusty Miller loaded his truck with mail Tuesday, March 25, ready to set out to serve his rural route.
There may have been a slight delay.
Miller's coworkers and post office officials gathered for a small party to honor Miller's big accomplishment, he has driven a million miles for the U.S. Postal Service, accident free.
That record means that Miller is a Million Miler - a rarity among postal workers.
His fellow workers surprised him with a cake and party. "The cake gave it away. I guess it's my day," laughed Miller. "My coworkers are all nice people."
He started working for the postal service three decades ago after his mail carrier told him the post office needed substitute drivers.
Miller applied, got hired, and left his career as a painter behind.
He said the key to successfully driving a million miles accident free, is to be a defensive driver. He doesn't use devices while behind the wheel and encourages others to also avoid distracted driving.
"The hardest thing is sorting mail while you're driving. You're not supposed to," said Miller.
He has worked at Rising Sun post office his entire career. His current route has him working in the Conowingo area to the Pennsylvania line.
"It doesn't feel like a million miles. It went so quick," said Miller. "It would be nice if they gave you a million dollars."
He said the post office has changed a lot since he started. Rising Sun now has six and a half routes. When he started there were three. Postal workers used to sort all the mail. Now some comes pre-sorted. Thirty years ago, stamps cost 15 cents. Now they are 49 cents.
Now that he's reached a career milestone, Miller doesn't have plans to retire. He'll continue working his route "unless they give me a dollar a mile, I can't retire."
Matt LaFontaine has worked with Miller for 27 years. He was excited for his coworker.
"It's a pretty big deal. He deserves some recognition absolutely," said LaFontaine. "He's very conscientious and works safely. He deserves the award."
Rising Sun Postmaster Donna Staley said she has worked for the postal service for 20 years and said Miller is the only person she knows who has achieved the Million Miler award. "It's very rare. He's on the road six or seven hours a day. This is pretty incredible," said Staley.
"We want to honor him. The postal service wants to honor their rare birds. We think he's very special," she said. "He's an all around good guy. He was on vacation and I was short (staffed). He came back to help out. He cares about our customers getting them mail. When you get someone like him, that's special."
Post office officials from other areas also turned out in Rising Sun to honor Miller during his party.
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