COLCHESTER, Vt. – Floyd Miner was caught off guard when a police cruiser and a firetruck blared through his quiet neighborhood on Thursday evening. But the 90-year-old Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient was even more surprised by the long line of well-wishers that followed.
“He’s amazing, he’s very talented with woodworking, and often makes things just to give away to people,” said Betsy Magee, who met Miner 15 years ago at the local Lions Club. “He has a big heart, and same with his wife Marie, they give so much to the community.”
Miner has been involved in his local American Legion post for nearly 60 years. Fellow veterans were on hand for Thursady’s celebration, presenting him with a gift package that included an American flag blanket and a certificate honoring him for his decades of engagement.
“When you put that amount of time into an organization like the American Legion, you know you’re dedicated to what you believe in, and Floyd is one of them,” said Dick Studley, First Vice Commander of American Legion Post 91.
“He’s just a pillar of our community and we’re very proud of the fact that he’s a member of our post,” added Post Commander Henry Lingo.
Relatives said Miner is a serviceman at heart, and spends a lot of his time making wooden ornaments for family members, neighbors and fellow senior citizens. Being able to show their appreciation for his kindness made for a special occasion.
“I am so happy,” said Gerald Sterns, Miner’s brother-in-law. “He wanted a birthday party for his 90th, but with COVID, everybody can’t get together. To have all these people turn out, it truly is an inspiration.”
Even the staff at Athens Diner, a favorite spot of Miner’s, said he’s a bright spot in their day.
“He’s really just happy to be there, and he just enjoys company and he’s always been super sweet,” said Jill Booska.
“He’s so much like my dad, so when he comes in I’ve made really good friends with him over the past few years, I love him to death,” said Deana Raymond.
Miner was taken aback by the sight of a community coming out like this to support him.
“I have more friends than I thought I had! I want to thank everybody for coming, that’s for sure. I didn’t expect this at all,” Miner said.