Local veteran shares stories of Vietnam War


The same crew — Steve Zanini, left, Jim Miller, center, and Don Johnson, right — in 2009 after flying a restored UH-1D from their company in Vienam.

The same crew — Steve Zanini, left, Jim Miller, center, and Don Johnson, right — in 2009 after flying a restored UH-1D from their company in Vienam.


Courtesy photo

Steve Zanini, gunner, left, Jim Miller, aircraft commander, center and Don Johnson, Crew Chief, right, in Soc Trang, Vietnam in 1967.


Courtesy photo

TROY — James E. Miller, of Troy, a helicopter pilot in 1967-68 in the Vietnam War, and his son, James Patrick Miller, will be the guest speakers at the 9 a.m., Feb. 1, 2023, monthly meeting of the Miami Valley Veterans Museum.

Of the Vietnam War, Miller says, “We were there to stem communism. I believed that then, and I still believe it.”

Miller’s father, Eli Miller, a recipient of a Purple Heart, was a machine gunner on an armored half-track in the European Theater during World War II and never talked about his war experiences. As Miller’s 70th birthday approached, his son, James Patrick Miller, decided that he wanted to write his father’s story as a birthday gift. The two co-authored and published “Warrior Two Six: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot’s Story” detailing his deployment to Vietnam.

At Fort Rucker in Alabama, Miller learned to fly basic training helicopters and then the Huey helicopter (UH-1D) and the specific skills necessary in Vietnam.

At age 21, in February 1967, Miller was off to Vietnam.

“In Vietnam it was like nothing we’d ever done. In World War II there was a front line; in Vietnam, the enemy was everywhere. We were always on alert, could never let down, for if we did, the enemy would strike. We were shot at every day,” said Miller

The meeting is open to veterans and friends and families of veterans.

The book will be available for purchase for $15. Refreshments are available beginning at 8:45 a.m. at the museum, located at 2245 S. County Road 25A in Troy.

Following the meeting Dr. Vivian Blevins, a faculty member at Edison State, with extensive experience in teaching college students and telecommunication employees to write their memoirs/autobiographies, will meet briefly with veterans who are interested in writing their stories.

“I have so many college students who know little to nothing about the military service of their relatives. I want to encourage those who have served to provide their history with photographs and words. The story is what is important whether it’s five pages long or 50,” said Blevins

Coming in February and March, the Miami County Veterans Services will be holding two Museum Movie Nights. The first one is on Friday Feb. 17, and will have two shows — 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Food will be provided at 6 and 8 pm (hot dogs, chips and drinks) and popcorn provided during the movie. The movie is free to attend but donations will be accepted.

The February movie will be the “Six Triple Eight – All Black Female Battalion of WWII.”

The March movie will be on Friday, March 17, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. with the same food and popcorn being offered. The movie will be “The Hello Girls of WWI.”

The same crew — Steve Zanini, left, Jim Miller, center, and Don Johnson, right — in 2009 after flying a restored UH-1D from their company in Vienam.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2023/01/web1_Miller-and-Co.-1-.jpgThe same crew — Steve Zanini, left, Jim Miller, center, and Don Johnson, right — in 2009 after flying a restored UH-1D from their company in Vienam. Courtesy photo

Steve Zanini, gunner, left, Jim Miller, aircraft commander, center and Don Johnson, Crew Chief, right, in Soc Trang, Vietnam in 1967.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2023/01/web1_Miller-and-Co.-2.jpgSteve Zanini, gunner, left, Jim Miller, aircraft commander, center and Don Johnson, Crew Chief, right, in Soc Trang, Vietnam in 1967. Courtesy photo