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Meritorous Service Medal Awarded to Russ Miller

(L-R) Zone F3 Commander Buck Buchanan, Russ Miller, District F Commander Kelvin Warren

The Meritorious Service Medal is the highest award that can be granted to a life, ordinary, associate or affiliate voting member of the Royal Canadian Legion.  The award may be recommended by a branch, a zone, a district, Provincial or Dominion Command.  Only the most deserving are recommended for the M.S.M., the Dominion Ritual and Awards Committee must approve this award.

In granting the Meritorious Service Medal, the committee considers:
• How long has this member been a continuous member of the Legion?
• What has this member done to be set apart from other members of the Legion at the recommending level, and which contribution is considered to be above and beyond that which may be expected of any devoted member?
• Has the member made an unusual personal sacrifice which has brought great credit to the Legion and to the community, or which has enhanced the prestige of The Royal Canadian Legion in the Community.
• Have the services rendered by this member been so much above those of any other member that it is felt these services can only be recognized by granting of the Legion’s highest honour?

For continued outstanding service, the M.S.M. was awarded to Russ Miller, on Wednesday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m., Wellington Legion, 364 Main Street, Wellington, K0K 3L0.

A Veteran’s Story: Russ Miller

Russ was born in Rochester NY on March 17, 1928. The family moved to Canada in 1932 and settled on a farm near Picton.

Russ attended the local County Primary school then went on to high school in Picton.

In his own words, Russ continues:

At the age of fifteen, I joined The Hastings Prince Edward Regiment Reserve. I attended courses two nights a week for the next five years. I had several jobs after school, the first as a telegraph delivery boy, followed by a job as a factory worker at Bata Shoe, and lastly, driving taxi.

On Jan 25, 1949 I transferred to the Canadian Artillery in Picton for Basic training and Gunnery. Over the next 17 years, from 1950 to 1976, I was posted as follows:
Montreal 1950 Royal 22nd
Junior NCORoyal 22nd Regiment (Van Doos)
Halifax 1952 1 Ack Ack
Truro 1955 3RCHA
Ottawa 1959 (Recruiting)
Petawawa 1962 4RCHA
Winnipeg 1963 2RCHA
Germany 1964 to 1967 2RCHA
Gagetown 1967 to 1969, 1RCHA
Germany 1969 to 1972 1RCHA
Ottawa 1972 to 1976 Headquarters

Two months after my release, I joined the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires at Picton Heights, where I served for fifteen years. I was in uniform for a total of 47 years.

During my Montreal posting in 1950, I met my future wife Pat. My buddy and I had attended a local dance while on leave. While “checking out the ladies” I noticed a gorgeous red head, she was tall and well built and was never without a partner. The custom was, you were expected to escort home, the girl you asked for the last dance. I planned my strategy. I could hardly wait for the last dance with the redhead. Unfortunately, my buddy had the same plan and got to her first. I looked around for a partner and saw this pretty brunette sitting all alone. I asked her to dance and the rest is history. We married in 1953.

Pat and I shared a love of history and used “leave time” to explore historical sites in Europe during my Germany postings. One time while in a long line of vehicles waiting to cross the German border into The Netherlands, we noticed that the border guards were going along the line and signalling all the vehicles with the Canadian flag to the front of the line. Why? we asked, and were told it was a small gesture of gratitude for Canada’s brave sacrifice during the Liberation of Holland. The town of Holten in Holland donated fourteen acres of land to the Canadian Government. The land was cleared and constructed by Canadian soldiers waiting for repatriation The first fallen Canadian Comrades killed in the area were laid to rest there. Fourteen hundred followed!

Each year, on May 4, the children of the area put candles on the graves to signify the “Light of Freedom”.

I joined R.C.L Branch 160 Wellington in November 1980. Over the years I have served in every position in the Legion including the Presidency for two and a half years. I was elected Zone Sergeant at Arms in 1995 to current date.

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  1. Donna Keys says:

    Way to go Russ! You are most awesome and are most deserving of the Meritorous Service Medal Award. It is very nice when a person is recognized for all they do!

    All the best. Donna Keys

  2. Tom Empey says:

    Congratulations Russell it is very well deserving

  3. Brenda McKay says:

    I see you all the time with a smile on your face and a brightness that shines on all those around you!
    Congratulations!
    Brenda
    The Karaoke Lady

  4. Karen & Eric Chapman says:

    Congratulations Comrade Russ for receiving this well-deserved recognition for your years of dedicated service to the Legion. Your work with the people of Legion Manor and McFarland Memorial home is appreciated by all. The look of surprise on your face was priceless. Your verbal response (not printable here) was even more so.
    All the best. Comrades Karen & Eric

  5. Karen & Eric Chapman says:

    Congratulations Comrade Russ for this well-deserved honour. Your dedicated work with Seniors at the Legion Manor and McFarland Home is very much appreciated. The look of surprise on your face was priceless. Your verbal response (can’t repeat it in print) was even more so.
    All the very best. Comrades Karen & Eric Chapman

  6. Gil Charlebois says:

    Russ,
    Congratulations on receiving a most Deserving Recognition Award for ALL the great work and dedication efforts you provide for all the County Legions PLUS.
    It was Most Deserving.

    Now,if we can teach you to improve on your Thursday Nite Shuffle Board Activities at BR #78,we would be happy! LOL.
    Congrats to a Great Guy!! Gil

  7. Vivian Dubois says:

    Congratulations Russ

    Eastern Ontario Gunners’ Association
    Vivian Dubois
    Sec/treas

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