Guest speakers will honor veterans at Anthem Veterans Memorial, Nov. 11

Date Modified: Tue, 10/25/2016 - 4:28pm

Adm. MillerIn honor of the Anthem Veterans Memorial’s fifth anniversary, exceptional speakers will pay tribute veterans and their families at this year's Veterans Day Ceremony, held in Anthem on Nov. 11.

The ceremony, hosted by the Anthem Community Council and the Anthem Veterans Memorial Support Team, begins at 10 a.m. at the Memorial, located in Anthem Community Park at 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy.

Adm. Paul David Miller, USN (Retired), will deliver the keynote address. Beginning a Naval career in December 1964, Admiral Miller served in various sea and shore assignments leading to two surface combatant commands, and in positions supporting the Navy's top leadership. Selected for Flag rank in 1984, he commanded the USS Enterprise Battle Group while on deployment to the North Arabian and the Mediterranean seas. Following this tour, he commanded the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific from December 1986 to 1988. Returning to Washington, Miller served as the Director of Naval Warfare on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. Receiving a fourth star, Adm. Miller became Commander of the Atlantic Fleet in January 1991. He was appointed in July 1992 as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Command and served concurrently as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander-Atlantic, until his retirement in October 1994.

In addition to numerous personal, foreign, unit and campaign awards, Adm. Miller was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy (5 awards), the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Coast Guard.

After leaving active duty, Adm. Miller began a career in industry, first as president/chief executive officer of Sperry Marine, a maritime navigation equipment company. In 1998, he became chairman/chief executive officer of Alliant Techsystems (ATK), an aerospace defense sector company centering on rocket propulsion, missile and ammunition production. Since retiring from industry, he continues to serve on various boards.

Adm. Miller graduated from Florida State University, has an MBA from the University of Georgia, completed the Harvard Business School Program of Management Development and graduated from the Naval War College. Adm. Miller and his wife, Becky, have two sons, both who served as Naval officers and are veterans of the Iraq conflict. The Millers have five grandchildren and reside in Naples, Florida, while spending additional time in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Josh Miller, United States Marine Corps and an Anthem local, will deliver the Veteran’s Perspective. Miller entered the USMC in 1988. When the Gulf War began, his Marine Corps anti-tank unit was activated and mobilized to northern Saudi Arabia, Area of Operations, where he was a driver, squad automatic weapon (SAW) gunner and A-gunner for the tube-launched optically tracked wire-guided (TOW) missile system. As coalition forces from 34 nations, led by the United States, waged war against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait, Miller was sent to Kuwait City.

After the Gulf War, Miller returned to his home in Louisiana, where he was honorably discharged in 1995. He earned the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Marine Corp Reserve Medal. When his hopes of flying helicopters for the military after college were dashed due to vision requirements, he pursued a career in law enforcement and became a police officer. He and his wife, Nanette, moved to Anthem in 2000. In 2006, he returned to Iraq as a security contractor with DynCorp.

He now teaches in Anthem where he resides with his wife, and their daughter, Jolie.

Lt. Col. John Simmons, USAF (Retired), will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Simmons served 21 years in the United States Air Force before retiring in July 2006 to become the Jr. Air Force ROTC Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix. During his tenure in the Air Force, he was an F-111 and F-15E Instructor Weapon Systems Officer with over 2,500 flight hours and more than 40 combat sorties in Iraq. 

Lt. Col. Simmons also commanded the 12th Combat Training Squadron at the U.S. Army’s National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. He served three years at the Pentagon as Chief Fighter Assignments, Colonel Management Office; with his final assignment as Chief, Senior Leader Management for the Commander of Air Education and Training Command.

He has been married for 33 years to his wife Kelly, and they have two daughters, Jennifer and Rachel.

Ceremony Information: Ceremony attendees are encouraged to arrive early to attend the fundraising breakfast provided by the St. Rose Parish Knights of Columbus beginning at 8 a.m. Limited seating and parking; lawn chairs and off-site parking are encouraged. The ceremony will last approximately 70 minutes and lead to the 11:11 a.m. moment when the sun's rays pass through the five Armed Service pillars' ellipses to cast a perfect solar spotlight over the mosaic of The Great Seal of the United States.