714 – Vietnam Vet loved the Army

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Retired US Army Major Rex Mills, Mack Payne

Retired US Army Major Rex Mills

In this episode we will take a look at a Vietnam Veteran who loved the army so much he regretted that he had to retire after only twenty years. Rex Miller was a major with a reserve commission meaning he was limited to twenty years service.  He has a interesting story that was featured in a story in the Redstone Rocket titled: Retired major learned Army was his best option that was submitted Skip Vaughn Rocket editor.

People join the Army for numerous reasons. We all have heard of cases where a young man gets in trouble with the authorities and the judge says you can go to jail or you can join the Army. In other cases economic opportunities are the reason and that is the case with Rex Miller. He was the first of eight children. His parents Dig and Polly Mills were barely scraping by in Grants, New Mexico on Dig’s income as a carpenter. Rex dropped out of school in the ninth grade to help the family after his father was injured on the job.

When he turned seventeen he joined the Army and spent three years as an infantryman. When he ETSed he returned home to New Mexico and his father did him a favor by getting him a job as a construction laborer. After nine months of working outdoors in the cold New Mexico winter he came to the realization the Army was not so bad and reenlisted.

On his second Army tour he was assigned to Military Intelligence. Along the way he passed his GED, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Athens State College in 1977 at Redstone and became an officer.

He spent a year with the Americal Division in Chu Lai from November 1967 to November 1968 where he served as an RTO (radio telephone operator) in a LRRP (long range reconnaissance patrol) unit. He finished up his career at the Redstone Arsenal.

Check out this for getting conversations started at your next VVA meeting:

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