On March 29, 2019, the Vietnam Veterans Day saw a band of 5 brothers honored for their sacrifice and service during the Vietnam War. This year’s service was sponsored by the Youghiogheny Glades chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution and performed at the Grantsville Cemetery in Redstone Arsenal.
Miller Brothers honored
The highlight of the service was the recognition of five blood brothers who all served during the Vietnam War. According to their interview with WAAY 31, the Millers never had the chance to serve together since they were deployed one after another. Three of the five brothers volunteered to serve in the war while the other two, like many Vietnam veterans, were drafted. As James Miller says, “I went to Vietnam because my brothers went, so I went and volunteered to go to Vietnam, because they were ahead of me, and I couldn’t let them outdo me.”
Unfortunately for the brothers, their father never lived to see their return which surely would have made him proud. Speaking about their experience after the war, the Millers say that it was sad that despite their years of service, they never received recognition on their return. They have since been traveling as a family to different Veteran Commemoration events as they are proud to have served their country.
The Second Longest War in American History
Major General Melissa A. Rank was the day’s guest speaker, and like many speakers of the day, she thanked the veterans for heeding the call to duty. Melissa recounted the statistics of the second longest war in American history which saw 58,318 soldiers killed in action, another 766 held as Prisoners of war (POWs) and 114 that died during captivity. By the end of the war, 2,646 American soldiers were unaccounted for. Also, during the event, 28 names of Vietnam veterans buried in the Grantville Cemetery were read out, with a bell tolled for each name.
President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 into law, thus designating March 29th as the National Vietnam Veterans Day every year. The day is meant to commemorate the 9 million soldiers who served during the war. Since the presidential proclamation, over ten thousand state and national organizations, businesses and many other entities have committed to be commemorative partners to host the anniversary events.