Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Willie Miller. Willie fought in the Vietnam War.

Willie was born on Apr. 26, 1947, in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended Hooper City High School, where he was known as a stellar student and an outstanding football player. After graduation, Willie declined several scholarship offers to attend college. He decided to join the military instead.

Willie enlisted in the Army as a specialist in 1965. After training with Special Forces, Willie was shipped to Vietnam, where he served two tours of duty.

While under enemy fire, Willie’s advice to his lieutenant to change military strategy saved the lives of his unit. He rescued a fellow comrade who became trapped in a flash flood. In another battle, he dragged the platoon sergeant to safety and administered first aid. Willie received a Silver Star for his heroic actions.

Willie was eventually wounded after a Vietcong sniper shot him in the thigh. Recalling the experience, Willie said that his flesh burned “like hot poker.” For his injury in combat, Willie received a Purple Heart.

During his military career, Willie was promoted to staff sergeant. After serving 5 ½ years, Willie was discharged from the Army.

He enrolled in college in 1972, after accepting a football scholarship at Colorado State. During his time there, he was named Athlete of the Year and inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1975, Willie was drafted into the National Football League and played with the Cleveland Browns. He ended his career with the Los Angeles Rams.

Willie returned to his hometown and became a football coach at G.W. Carver High School and E.B. Erwin High School, where he retired in 2013.

Thank you for your service, Willie!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Share this story

Published on Feb. 3, 2019

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

Views to date: 111

More Stories

  • Army Veteran Charles W. Whittlesey is a Medal of Honor Recipient and is today’s Veteran of the Day.

  • Army Veteran Hank Welzel served in the Korean War, but his military experience began in the German Army during World War II.

  • Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Ronald L. Green, who was the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.