MORGANTOWN, WV (WTRF) — If West Virginia is “Almost Heaven,” one enlisted man’s desire to take a reminder of home with him while he was deployed in the Middle East ended up as a symbol for the WVU Mountaineers football team.

Marshall County native Navy Petty Officer 2nd class John Miller carried a West Virginia state flag with him while overseas as a reminder of home.

He was deployed in the Middle East when he contacted WVU Athletics to ask for a team football. The school sent him one without hesitation.

In return, Miller sent WVU the West Virginia state flag he carried as a reminder of home.

“It was a big thank you for their generosity, and it increased our morale,” he said in a Twitter post of the gesture and what it meant to him and others in his unit.

He explained what Mountaineer football means to him.

“You can be anywhere in the world and you turn on a Mountaineer football game…it reminds you of home,” Miller said.

His unit reached out to other schools, but WVU was the only one that responded.