Each year on Nov. 11, the nation pauses to give thanks for its veterans on a day created specifically to honor their service, Veterans Day. But some citizens take their efforts further and find a way to give back to veterans more often. Paul Miller of Tea, a veteran of the South Dakota Air National Guard (SDANG), graduated basic training in the fall of 1988 and went on to help feed 500 to 600 men at a time as a food service specialist with the Company C 153rd combat engineers unit. The Parkston native was an inactive reserve member from 1994 to 1996 and is now retired from the military.
Military service seemed a natural choice for Miller. His father served in the Army in the Korean War and his brother was also a SDANG member. His nephew, Chris Miller of Parkston, has followed family tradition and joined the SDANG as well.
In addition to being a member of the Tea Legion, Paul, uses his experiences to help fellow veterans in need. He is a veterans case manager and coordinator with Volunteers of America in Sioux Falls and spends his days aiding homeless veterans. Miller and other VOA staff members work together to help their clients acquire housing and initial furnishings, as well as help with meals and initial bills.
“It’s so important to help veterans and assist with getting them the tools they need to get back on their feet,” Miller said. “It’s wonderful to work with such a caring organization to help our nation’s veterans.”
For more information or to volunteer with Volunteers of America, contact Rebecca Deelstra at 605-334-1414, visit voa.org or stop in to the Veterans Outreach Center at 1113 E. 14th St. in Sioux Falls. “We encourage people to drop by, get something to eat and talk to us,” Miller said. “We are always happy to help.”
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