Rep. Elik Designates IL Route 140 “Cpl. Tommy Miller Memorial Highway”

The Illinois House of Representatives adopted HJR 21 on Thursday designating Illinois Route 140 as it travels through Meadowbrook as the ‘Cpl. Tommy N. Miller Memorial Highway’. The resolution was sponsored by State Representative Amy Elik (R-Alton).

“I have the pleasure of knowing Corporal Tommy Miller’s younger brother who was about seven when his older brother died in Vietnam,” said Rep Elik. “He has vivid memories of his cool older brother who is beloved. Tommy was a drummer in a band and loved music. In fact, just before the enemy attack, he made a tape for his family from his base in Vietnam where he sang and played the guitar recorded on the tape for his family. When the family received the tape, they loved it and they didn’t know yet that he had already died because then it took days and weeks to be notified. Corporal Tommy Miller gave his life in service to our country and is no doubt a true hero deserving of this resolution and recognition in his honor.”

Cpl. Tommy Neal Miller was born on July 19, 1949 and was raised in Meadowbrook near Bethalto in Madison County. He Cpl. Miller enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served during the Vietnam War; he began his tour of duty on June 10, 1968. His military specialty was mortarman, and he was attached to Echo Company, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division.

While serving as a radio operator on the morning of February 25, 1969 at Fire Support Base Russell in Quang Tri Province in South Vietnam, under assault by a large North Vietnamese Army sappers unit, Cpl. Miller unhesitatingly maneuvered across the fire-swept terrain in search of an undamaged radio; after locating operable equipment, he again exposed himself to hostile fire to assist the commanding officer with restoring communications; he then went to the aid of his fellow Marines to free them from entrapment in debris. As Cpl. Miller attempted to free his comrades, he was mortally wounded by fragments from an enemy grenade.

Cpl. Miller’s heroic and timely actions inspired all who observed him and contributed greatly to repelling the enemy’s assault. Cpl. Miller’s commendations include the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

Cpl. Miller is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC; his name is inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 31w, Line 53. Like so many who gave the ultimate sacrifice and gave up many years of their lives, Cpl. Miller will forever be 19.

HJR 21 sponsored by Rep. Elik was adopted by the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 30. Pending adoption in the Senate, the Illinois Department of Transportation will be directed to erect at suitable locations, consistent with State and federal regulations, appropriate plaques or signs giving notice of the name “Cpl. Tommy N. Miller Memorial Highway”.