1918 1919


World War I 





                                                Alpha Miller


A flag and a commemorative medal were given to Alpha Miller at an honors dinner held in 1993 at the Fort Wayne VA Center.  The dinner was in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I. 


Miller was recognized as being one of the 9 living Allen County survivors of World War I.  Miller, who was 97 at the time he was honored, was a U. S. Marine who served in the war from July 1918 to August 1919.  Miller recalled at the dinner how his patriotism had never died.  Miller joined the Marine Corp at the age of 22, when the war broke out.  One of the reasons he enlisted was so that the government could send monthly checks to his family.  Half of his $30 monthly salary was forwarded to them every month.  His father had died when Alpha was 13 and he helped to maintain his struggling family after that time. 


After boot camp, Miller was shipped out to Brest, France, where he and the others lived on the rain-soaked beaches, sleeping in the mud and in rain-soaked tents.  From there they were sent to the front, but they found another snag when they found the tracks were torn up from previous battles and then they set out on foot.  Miller and the others in the platoon walked for nearly a week, marching to the Ger-man border and acquiring blisters that left some limping with massive sores.  Luckily, they never made it to the front.  The armistice ending the war was signed November 11, 1918, just hours before they were to arrive.