The WKU Army ROTC program will conduct a 5K run, a wreath laying ceremony and Hall of Fame induction ceremony as part of its Veterans Day observance on Friday (Nov. 8).
The Hilltopper Battalion’s fourth annual 5K Formation Run will begin with check-in at 6 a.m. and the run at 6:30 a.m. at Diddle Arena auxiliary gym. Race-day registration is $15; proceeds will benefit the 1LT Eric Yates Memorial Scholarship.
The ROTC wreath laying ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the Guthrie Bell Tower followed by the induction of Dr. James W. Miles into the ROTC Hall of Fame at 10:30 a.m. at the Stansbury Concourse on Diddle Arena’s second floor.
Congressman Brett Guthrie will participate in the induction ceremony.
More: Photos from the Nov. 8 ceremonies are posted on the WKU Facebook page.
About this year’s Hall of Fame inductee
Dr. James W. Miles, a native of Henderson and a 1940 WKU graduate, will be inducted in the ROTC Hall of Fame. Dr. Miles served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1962 and retired as a lieutenant colonel.
As a student, Dr. Miles was an active member of the Army ROTC program and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry upon graduation.
He was called to active duty in February 1942 and assigned as a platoon leader in the famed 327th Glider Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. He landed on Utah Beach during the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Participating in that landing earned him an Arrowhead Device on his European, African, and Middle Eastern Campaign Medal along with other campaign stars. He made a glider landing with the 101st in Holland on Sept. 17, 1944, and was awarded a bronze combat star on his Glider Badge. Three months later he was surrounded in Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge where his regiment fought fiercely, earning the nickname of the Bastogne Bulldogs. The 101st Airborne Division bravely held their positions until rescued by General Patton’s Third Army.
When his company commander and best friend was killed in action in January 1945, Dr. Miles as promoted to captain and elevated to the position of company commander. Later in the war, he was transferred to the 82d Airborne Division where he served again as a company commander in the 505th Parachute Infantry. For his wartime service, Dr. Miles earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, two Bronze Star Medals, the Distinguished Unit Citation, the Glider Badge with combat star, the Belgian Forragere, and the Dutch Orange Order of Wilhelmin and several campaign medals. He was released from active duty on Aug. 17, 1945. He continued to serve as a citizen soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve with the 100th Training Division and Headquarters, Third U.S. Army rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He retired in 1962.
After his wartime service, Dr. Miles earned a master’s degree and PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois. He taught at the Louisville College of Pharmacy and at the University of Kentucky. The rest of his career in science was spent in public service at the Center for Disease Control and with the U.S. Public Health Service where he became a recognized expert in pesticide formulations and their effects on the environment. He authored two books and more than 70 scientific articles.
Contact: Andrea Raybould, (270) 745-4293.
National Veterans Day Concert Nov. 10
America: Forever a Young Eagle! is the theme for the performance by the world’s premier medical chorale and symphony orchestra. The concert will feature country singer Jo Dee Messina. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. with a preconcert at 2 p.m. Admission is free but tickets are required. All tickets have been distributed.