Miller attributes success to the support of his wife
Editor’s note: This is the eighth article in The Inter-Mountain’s Unsung Heroes series, which will feature veterans in our area and share first-hand accounts of their military service. The series will publish each Monday through Veterans Day. To suggest an Unsung Hero, call 304-636-2121, ext. 120.
ELKINS — A retired master sergeant of the United States Army believes much of his success throughout his career can be attributed to the support and companionship of his wife.
Dan Miller, an 83 year old Elkins native, first entered the National Guard in the early 1950s before entering the Army with a rank of sergeant in 1957, something that the soldier said was unusual for this era.
For 60 years, and almost his entire military career, Miller has had his wife Gloria by his side.
“She did everything – I was probably dressed number one in my unit,” Miller said.
He said his wife took care of shining his brass and boots and keeping him looking nice at all times.
Miller reflected on many exciting memories of his career and times with his wife including being a member of country western band that played for private parties of General Costello.
“I went to South Carolina and while I was there, General Costello chose me to play for his parties,” Miller said.
Earlier in his life, before joining the military, Miller was part of a band in Detroit which allowed him to meet a number of hit country singers like Hank Williams Sr., which Miller said was very memorable because the artist was his idol.
While serving, Miller was stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Fort Knox, Camp Breckinridge and Camp Campbell, all in Kentucky.
“Believe it or not, Elvis Presley was (in Fort Knox) at the same time,” Miller said. “My wife and I were driving down the street and I told her, ‘Over there sits Elvis Presley,’ and she looked over surprised because it was really him,” Miller said.
Miller served as a tank commander during his time with the Army.
He was also a combat engineer during which her performed jobs such as road construction.
“We used to take pontoon bridges – you could put a whole bridge across the river and anything could run across them,” Miller said.
To earn the rank of master sergeant, Miller taught a variety of classes that were focused on his branch of the military.
“The classes were all about the Army — all things that you needed to know,” Miller said.
Although he was stationed state side, Miller said he unfortunately recalls a number of deaths of comrades in his platoon.
Miller said that he also has many fond memories with friends he made during his service.
“We enjoyed the Army, my wife and I,” Miller said.
He went on to explain that while he and his wife were living in Fort Knox, they became close friends with three other couples who they remained in contact with over the years.
“We were all good friends and every weekend we would have a get together and cook and each one of us would cook,” Miller said.
During his time in the Army, Miller earned a number of awards including best shooting score on the rifle range and another for helping to save the life of another solder.
Miller retired from the Army in 1960.
Following his retirement, Miller entered the insurance business where he worked from 1963 until 2016.
Miller and his wife had four children, Jeffery, D.J., Mark and Kimberly.