Saluting Albert Miller on His 100th Birthday
A proud and true Texan, Albert Frank Miller still loves to gamble but there is nothing left to chance when it comes to talking about his life and family.
Born on March 24, 1923, the U.S. Army veteran still lives at home in Leroy, Texas only a block or two from where he grew up. Leroy is near a town called West and the nearest city of any size is Waco.
“My mom was a full blooded American Indian and my dad was German. My grandparents lived in West. My great grandparents were born in Leroy and Ross, Texas. When I was born they said I looked like a Cupie doll and that is how I earned my first nickname ‘Cupie’,” he said.
“Life was hard in those days as it was for most. We took baths in metal tubs, and there was no electricity so we used kerosene lamps for light. Our water came from rain barrels and then a well. My dad worked at the Leroy store and we also farmed cotton, corn and oats.”
Albert attended San Marcos Sate Teacher College and studied engineering. He landed a job with the Civil Service in Corpus Christie. The Army came calling in 1946 and Albert was recruited to help clear the remnants left from the damage following World War II.
“A few of us received Naval training and then they sent us to Tokyo. We were put on an aircraft carrier. I spent most of the time onboard in a small machine shop working on all kinds of things.”
Following a stint in the Army, Albert resumed his career at the Civil Service. He spent 33 years in service before retiring from the government. “I did many interesting things like working in the hangar with the precision flying Blue Angels Aircraft. When we got transferred to Fort Hood, I tested helicopters from Vietnam before they went back into combat, and basically worked for all branches of the service. Then I got my highest honor at Fort Hood, a 30-year Civil Service pin which was a big deal.”
Miller says his top prize though was landing the love of his life, Mary Rejcek. “We married in 1948 and had seven children all whose names begin with the letter ‘J’. My initials are AFM, Mary’s was MAM and then we have seven JAMs.”
Albert and Mary were married for 69 years. Mary died at age 90. The Millers are blessed to have 18 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren and 3 great, great grandchildren.
Albert is able to remain in his home thanks to a little-known VA benefit called Aid and Attendance. The benefit enables him to utilize an in-home care giver through the VetAssist Program and a local agency, Caring Senior Service, based in Waco.
The VetAssist Program provides assistance with the VA paperwork, assigns a client specialist for compliance monitoring and other services, with no out-of-pocket cost to the veteran.
“Thanks to everyone I am able to live just a block or so from where I was born and plan to stay here until I die. But I’m still alive and kicking and will celebrate my 100th birthday at the VFW Hall with family and friends and, of course, do a little gambling.”
We all wish Albert a very happy 100th birthday!
For more information about Veterans Home Care’s VetAssist Program call 888-314-6075