94-Year-Old Vet Served in Three Wars, Finds New Life as Artist

by Clayton Edwards

Vincent Miller served in the US Navy for more than 20 years. Over the course of his service, he saw three wars. As a teen, he enlisted to fight in World War II. Then, he served in the Korean War as well as the Vietnam War. Before retiring, Miller earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Today, the decorated veteran lives in Paramount Senior Living in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There, he keeps himself busy by creating detailed wooden statues and competing in weekly trivia games.

Some people might see a 94-year-old man in a senior living facility and assume that his mind isn’t as sharp as it once was. Vincent Miller, on the other hand, does all he can to keep his mind as sharp as his woodworking tools. When he isn’t in his room creating wooden art, Miller is competing in –and winning- weekly trivia contests. Additionally, the veteran does expert-level Sudoku puzzles in ink, according to the Free Lance-Star.

When asked about why his mind is still so sharp, Vincent Miller credits his time in the Navy. During his service, he worked on electrical equipment. Additionally, he helped to maintain intercoms and public address systems as well as machines that recorded planes’ landings on aircraft carriers. “They did a fine job of keeping your mind going,” Miller said.

Vincent Miller’s Woodworking

After he retired from the Navy, Vincent Miller started whittling. Soon, he amassed a collection of woodworking tools and was creating gorgeous and detailed carvings. Today, his hand tools sit in green Crown Royal bags in his room at Paramount. Unfortunately, the facility wouldn’t let him bring his power tools. However, his brother-in-law brings him blocks of 2x4s to create his art.

Among Vincent Miller’s favorite works are coyotes howling at the moon and tiny work boots. According to the Free Lance-Star, he spends up to 60 hours on a single boot. They’re detailed down to the nail holes in the soles and will fit in the palm of your hand.

Sometimes, he gives his carvings away to friends or people who make an impression on him. Other times, Miller sells his art for up to $100.

An Active Member of His Community

Vincent Miller isn’t just a consummate artist. He’s also an active member of his assisted living community. According to Gail Ford, Paramount’s activities manager. He comes to weekly trivia contests which help keep his mind sharp. Additionally, Miller attends regular community meetings. However, he’s never there to complain. He shows up just to let the staff know that they’re doing a great job.

“He’s a sweet man. Everybody loves Vincent. He just sparkles.”

Vincent Miller is an inspiration. We can only hope to be half as sharp as he is at that age.