Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech
The memory of Medal of Honor recipient Gary Lee Miller, who was killed in 1969 during the the Vietnam War when he smothered an enemy grenade to save his fellow soldiers, was honored November 6 during a ceremony at the Virginia Tech War Memorial Court on the Blacksburg campus. Miller, a native of Covington, who attended Dabney S. Lancaster Community College from 1965-66 when it was still a branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, was a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army when he was killed, and one of the few Virginia Tech alumni to have earned a Medal of Honor. VT President Tim Sands was the speaker for the special ceremony, which centered around the cenotaph (a monument to someone buried elsewhere, particularly during a time of war). The Gregory Guard, the Corps of Cadets precision drill team, performed a rifle salute, and buglers played “Echo Taps.” Protocol for inclusion on the cenotaph is for the Medal of Honor recipient to be an alumnus, whether a graduate or not.
“We are so pleased that the memory of 1st Lt. Gary Lee Miller, a true American hero, is being recognized yet again by a grateful nation,” said DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone. “He attended DSLCC when the College was still a branch of Virginia Tech, entered the U.S. Army, fought in the Vietnam War, and sadly lost his life protecting his fellow soldiers. The entire DSLCC community joins with Virginia Tech in honoring Lt. Miller.”
Miller has also been recognized on the DSLCC campus: The annual Outstanding Graduate Award is named in his memory; and the DSLCC Armory bears his name. Also, Miller Hall stands at Fort Benning, Georgia, in his honor.