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Virginia Tech remembers life of Alumni Medal of Honor recipient

It was only recently discovered that Miller, a Covington native, attended a branch of Virginia Tech before being deployed

Virginia Tech honors Medal of Honor recipient
Virginia Tech honors Medal of Honor recipient

BLACKSBURG Va. – More than five decades have passed since lieutenant Gary Lee Miller made the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War.

Friday, Virginia Tech leaders honored Miller, who died when he jumped on a grenade to save those around him during the Vietnam War in 1969.

His name is the eighth added to the Cenotaph, a marble symbolic tomb at the War Memorial Chapel. Miller was awarded the Medal of Honor for his sacrifice.

“It’s a sad reminder of the sacrifices that these brave people made but it enriches the culture of Virginia Tech and adding that story is a phenomenal step forward in students understanding where the came from and why they have the freedoms they have,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said.

It was only recently discovered that Miller, a Covington native, attended a branch of Virginia Tech before being deployed. It took decades to get the proper documentation, but thanks to the help of some determined alumni, university leaders finally got the chance to honor his life even all these years later.

They proved it’s never too late to honor those who gave their lives to protect their country.

“(He) was as much of a student at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute as anyone else, so we are thrilled to find that out and happy to add his name” Sands said.

After making the ultimate sacrifice to protect more American lives than just his own, Miller’s name will stay etched on the cenotaph for those to honor his life for decades to come.


About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.