March 29 is Vietnam War Veteran's Day. On Friday, the Miller brothers, who all served in the Vietnam War, were recognized on Redstone Arsenal.
According to United States census data, Huntsville has over 5,000 Vietnam veterans, making it the largest service group in Huntsville. Veterans represent 11.5% of Huntsville's adult population.
WAAY 31 attended a Vietnam recognition ceremony on the Arsenal and spoke to the five veterans from North Alabama. The men share more of a connection than just serving in the war.
"Rain or shine, you had to be on duty. A lot of times it would rain and you could hardly see," said Vietnam veteran, James Miller. "Three of us volunteered, two drafted."
They were never deployed together, but one after the other, they left their home to defend their country.
"I went to Vietnam because my brothers went, so I went and volunteered to go to Vietnam, because they were ahead of me, and I couldn't let them outdo me," said Vietnam veteran, Leo Miller.
The Miller brothers said their father died before they all returned home.
"He had five sons that go to Vietnam and came back. He would have his shoulders stuck out and say, 'These are my boys,'" said James Miller.
They brothers said, when they returned, it seemed like no one cared.
"The years of time to serve this country, and when we came back, nobody recognized us, but now we are getting that recognition. So, whenever somebody says something about being recognized, we try to go be recognized," said James Miller.
On Friday, at the the Vietnam War Commemoration, the men finally got the recognition they deserve, and they encourage people to thank those who serve their country.
"I think they should remember, because we sacrificed a whole lot, and the country wouldn't be where it is today without the sacrifice that we have done," said Vietnam veteran, John Miller.
The brothers said it's an honor to have served in the war, so they travel to different veteran ceremonies and come together as a family. According to the census, there is a higher percentage of adult veterans in Huntsville than in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile and Atlanta.
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