Miles Vigil wasn't just Redskins linebacker Zach Vigil's cousin, he was his best friend. The two did everything together, from train and lift weights to hunt cattle. Zach can even recall moments with his cousin, like when he was too tired to help carry a cattle, that never fail to bring a smile to his face. In 2010, five years removed from serving in Afghanistan, Miles unexpectedly took his own life.
"He was such a loving and caring and generous human being," Vigil said. "His life being cut short was really hard for us and still is. We still think about him and pray about him all the time."
Wanting to honor their beloved family member, and bring more awareness to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a factor in Miles' death, the Vigil family started the Miles for Hope Foundation. Working with John Schlichte and the Warrior Rizen Foundation, the Vigils have been able to help create a ranch space for soldiers to come and get any help or rehabilitation they may need.
Honoring Miles with both a helmet sticker in November for Salute to Service Month and his cleats, Vigil is proud to carry on the memory of someone who was such a big part of his life.
"Let people know how Miles lived his life, not took it." said Mark Vigil, Miles' father.