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Depoe Bay to honor victim of VA neglect

Modified: Friday, Aug 8th, 2014

Camille Etheridge, of Depoe Bay, paused at the city’s memorial wall Wednesday, reflecting on Michael Miller’s addition to a row of simple bronze plaques. “You think about the sacrifice people like him have made for the country,” said the county mental health care worker. “No veteran should ever have to wait for health care. The VA should pay to have them go wherever treatment is closest, fastest.” (Photo by Rick Beasley)

DEPOE BAY — A disabled Vietnam veteran who died after waiting for care from the Veterans Administration will be honored with a plaque on the town’s memorial wall.

On Tuesday, the fractious Depoe Bay City Council rallied in a unanimous vote to remember the name of Michael Wayne Miller with a simple bronze commemorative on an edifice of white concrete. The wall sits at the north end of the Depoe Bay boardwalk with a sweeping view of the bay and an inscription that reads, “At rest on land or sea, you live on in memory.”

“The VA has been very negligent in the affairs of our veterans,” said Mayor A.J. Mattila, who knew Miller both as a highly intelligent man and an outcast overcome by his disabling illnesses. “I’d like to have just one veteran honored on our behalf, and I’d like to have the council agree with me.”

It did, in a 5-0 vote authorizing the $149 cost of the plaque and its installation. The city normally charges $250 for a plaque and its place on the wall.

For the complete article see the 08-08-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-08-2014 paper.

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