Paugh served in Korea and Vietnam, then helped other veterans
Editor’s note: This article is part of The Inter-Mountain’s Unsung Heroes series for 2018, which features veterans in our area sharing first-hand accounts of their military service. The series will be published each Monday through Veterans Day.
BUCKHANNON — Not only did Miles Paugh dedicate more than 20 years to the armed forces — including serving in two war eras — but he continues to assist fellow veterans.
In 1948, Paugh, of Buckhannon, joined the United States Army when he was 17 years old. Two years later, in July, he went to serve in the Korean War as a tank driver. Paugh spent 13 months in Korea.
During his time there, Paugh wrote journal entries about his day-to-day life and duties in Korea. He has compiled those entries, photos and newspaper clippings into a thick binder.
“I got out of the Army and then I came back here (West Virginia) and stayed here for a little while, and then I went into the United States Air Force,” he explained, noting he joined the Air Force in 1954.
Upon joining the Air Force, Paugh said he went to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for training and then soon moved to Hawaii for four years.
“Then I came back to the Bolling Air Force base and worked in the comptroller’s office for the Air Force,” he said.
In 1962, Paugh was deployed to the Vietnam War, where he was stationed out of Saigon for one year.
Following his time in Vietnam, Paugh returned to Andrews Air Force base in Washington, D.C.
“Then I worked in the Pentagon and worked in the secretary of the Air Force’s office under missiles,” he said.
Paugh would then go back to Andrews Air Force Base and be transferred to Air Force One for six years until he retired. He spent 17 years in the Air Force.
Today, Paugh is a member of several veteran organizations, including the the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“I did a lot of work getting veterans disabilities after I came back here,” he said, adding he worked as a civilian at St. Joseph’s Hospital and in surgery at Ruby Memorial Hospital.
When Paugh retired he became the post adjutant of the American Legion Post 13 in Cumberland for five years.
As a member of the Honor Guard, Paugh said he has participated in 2,500 funerals.
He then went on to become the service officer for Buckhannon’s American Legion, in which he has helped a number of veterans in the area.
Current post adjutant Mary Albaugh explained a service officer’s duty is to assist disabled veterans to receive the information they need to apply for medical assistance and health benefits.
Paugh said he guesses he has helped at least 100 veterans in the area as well as a few veterans from out of state.
Though he is not the post’s service officer, Paugh is still considered a service officer within the community.
“He’s got a great track record of helping many, many, many people,” said Albaugh.
Paugh said he enjoys being of assistance, to which Albaugh responded, “That is a given. He loves helping people.”