Longtime Legion member Miller presented with 65 Year pin

Submitted Photo Mervin Miller (centre) receives his 65-year pin from Prince Albert Legion members Deanne Riese (right) and Don Graves (left) in Tisdale in December, 2023.

After a long wait, a longtime Prince Albert Royal Canadian Legion member is being recognized for his service.

As part of Legion Week in Prince Albert the Legion held their Pins and Recognition evening on Sept. 23. Longtime members Mervin Miller (65 years), Ed Laird (60 years) and Denis Rivet (50 years) all received special commemorative pins, but Miller and Laird were unable to attend in person.

In early December, the Prince Albert Legion presented a 65-year pin to member Miller at his home in Tisdale.

Prince Albert Royal Canadian Legion membership chair and first vice-president Deanne Riese presented him with his pin. He said receiving it was worth more than $10 million to him.

“That means a lot,” said Miller, who is now 88.

Miller was born in 1935 and joined the Legion in 1958. He said he enlisted because he needed a job. He met up with someone at the ANAVETs in Prince Albert who told him he had the job for him, which was to go overseas.

“The guy says ‘the Army is recruiting right now.’ I said. ‘I didn’t know there was such a thing,’” Miller remembered.

“I’ve never ever gave it some thought. I had an uncle and a cousin in there so I said, ‘okay.’”

Submitted Photo Mervin Miller (right) poses for a photo with Legion member Don Graves (left) after receiving his 65-year pin from the Prince Albert Legion in Tisdale in December.

After joining, Miller wondered if he was the “unlucky number”, since he was the third person of this family to go overseas. The ANAVETs member was able to convince him otherwise.

“He said ‘you are Armed Forces number four in your book’,” Miller explained.

The book showed that he had two cousins and an uncle in the service. Miller then went on to serve for 11 years including five years in Germany. He joined the Armed Forces when he was 18-years-old.

Miller said that the Legion was important to him because they have treated him well. He thanked them for the role they played in his life.

“You have been great to me,” he said of the Legion. “You have been good in every way possible.”

He gave the example of when he was in the hospital and how well the Legion treated him.

“Good personnel, good people,” he added. “After I ended ( my service), the happiest day in my life was that day I joined the Legion.”

Miller told Riese that the hardest part of joining the military was basic training. He did not see action in Germany, jokingly telling Riese he only saw action “in the bars” where he was both a peacekeeper and a fighter.

Miller told those in attendance he was proud of his service.

“I was very happy to serve Canada and my hometown is happy that I am alive,” he said. “A lot of people that I joined up with, they are gone, which I am not happy to hear and see.”

Miller added that there was still more to hear and to see and he was happy to be alive.