HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - In honor of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, the VA is using this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war. Five brothers are also taking this time to count their blessings.
The Miller brothers have a tight bond because they all served to protect our freedom.
"All five of us served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1972," Veteran James Miller Jr. explained.
James Miller Jr. is the oldest and the first to join. When his brothers decided to follow in his footsteps he gave them his blessing.
"I told them to come on," Miller said.
The Millers remember their father, a World War II veteran, being very proud of them. James said their father always showed them off. But that praise wasn't what they got back from the majority of the community when they returned home from war.
"You didn't have anyone standing at the airport waiting for you to get off the plane. All you did was jump off and come back home," Miller explained.
Returning to civilian life was challenging, like dealing with PTSD. "We all had that problem cause you been over there being shot at now you got to come back home and learn how to live. When you were in Vietnam you learned how to show no emotion," James Miller said.
James has been going to counseling at the VA for almost the last decade to help with his problems. He said treatment for Veterans has gotten better, but there's more work to do. For example, more help for his younger brother John.
"I got wounded in Vietnam. I still have problems with my hand. My hand hurts each and every day. I'm on pain pills, but the government says you have to have three scars to raise up your disability," John explained.
He thinks the VA could be greatly improved, but there are happy with the slow changes they`ve seen.
But on this day marking the 50th anniversary of their time in the war they`re just grateful to still have one another.