Meet the new Veterans Day grand marshal

Rev. Fred Miller selected


Rather than listing his accomplishments, it would be easier to ask, what hasn’t Fred Miller done?

Born in 1932, the 90-year-old Mastic resident grew up in Sheepshead Bay. Rather than graduating high school, he joined the United States Air Force at the start of the Korean War in 1950, at the age of 17. He went to basic training in San Antonio, Texas, and headed to Puerto Rico for advanced training as an air sea rescue medic. He then attended medical laboratory school, making his primary job medical laboratory technologists. He trained for SAC’s special forces and went on a mission to Africa with them in 1952. While in the Air Force, he also finished his high school education. By 1954, he was honorably discharged from the Air Force.

But his service didn’t end; he then went on to join the New York Air National Guard at the 106th Medical Squadron as their first sergeant, serving in that capacity until 1963. A week after his discharge from the Air Force, he was also employed by Meadow Brook Hospital as the chief of parasitology. He also taught in the biology department at Farmingdale University. During that time, he also received his associate’s degree, then went on to receive his bachelor’s form Stony Brook University.

Miller retired in 1974, but didn’t stop working. At that time, he started working as a teacher for BOCES from 1975 to 1982. To add to his diverse resume, he also opened a pet shop in Shirley. He also started as a minister at True Light Educational Ministry in the ‘80s and went for his Ph.D. in the late ‘90s.

Miller is known to be involved in everything. During the 2000s, he joined the American Legion at the Arthur H. Clune Post 1533, in Mastic Beach. There, too, he wore many hats, becoming the chaplain and then a member of the board of directors, and with his current position as 3rd division commander of the Suffolk American Legion. In 2015, he also became a veterans service officer for the American Legion at the Northport VA Hospital. He also happens to be a member of the Shirley and Mastic Rotary and Chamber of Commerce, representing the post.

Additionally, over his long-spanning career, he was published in over 75 publications in the medical and science fields as well as having numerous articles in the religious field. He also still contributes an article every week in the South Shore Press, giving veterans information.

As a veteran, he continues as the chairman of the Suffolk County American Legion’s PTSD committee and has arraigned over 100 legionnaires and auxiliary trained in peer-to-peer stress management and holds a meeting in four different churches.

“My job’s not done,” Miller added, noting that he still intends to work with veterans to continue to lower suicide rates. He has helped stop 11 suicides with his organization since 2014.

Honored and excited for the day, he said he plans to ride in the Jeep, waving to the crowds with his American Legion.

“Fred Miller is the grand marshal of the 2022 Veterans parade in recognition of his years of outstanding service to our country and community,” said Art Gerhauser, president of the chamber. “Fred has demonstrated an exceptional desire to help his country and community through his service in the Air Force and NY Air National Guard, and his lifelong involvement in the community.  Fred has dedicated himself to making the lives of others better.”


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