November 10, 2018 11:29 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve celebrated its 243rd anniversary. The U.S. Marine Corps is known to have fought some of the toughest battles and have been deployed to nearly every part of the world. On Saturday, a celebration was held at the Rochester VFW. An estimated 200 Marines, both serving and retired, are living in Olmsted County. About twenty of them made it to the event enjoying cake and company. Members of several other military branches also attended.
Cdt. Myron Ehrich of the Midwest Division of the Marine Corps League said that people have been more expressive of their gratitude for their service, "It's getting a lot better that people when they see you wearing a Marine Corps hat or Army or whatever cover, they come up and say 'Thank you for your service.'"
And some citizens also take time to hear their stories. Stories like Gary Miller's that show just how much sacrifice is involved in serving this country. Miller's father, who was also a Marine, was killed in Korea. Miller continued his family's service becoming Corps member in 1963. He served until 1969 when he was forced into retirement for medical reasons. Gary says he is lucky to be alive, "I was literally wounded from head to toe. I mean I got shot on my left foot, shot on my right foot, shrapnel in my left knee, bandage in my left shoulder, shrapnel in my face. I hit a rifle butt. Scars on my forehead."
Miller said he was also a prisoner of war for 41 days. He mentioned five men in his platoon were initially killed in action in Vietnam. But over the years, the rest have passed away. Out of the 132 men, he is the only one left standing. The significance of this weekend weighs heavily on him - it brings back many memories, "The ones that didn't come home to us they are the heroes. At the same time, I don't consider myself a hero. We were Marines. We were doing our jobs."
Created: November 10, 2018 11:29 PM
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