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Medal of Honor Competes for Preservation Funding; Public Votes Feb 20 – March 3  

A Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to Lt. Gary Lee Miller of Covington, Va., has been selected as one of 10 endangered artifacts in Virginia by the Virginia Associations of Museums. The medal is in the collection of the Roanoke History Museum, which would be responsible for its restoration.

Miller, an officer in the U.S. Army, was killed Feb. 6, 1969, in the Bình Dương Province of Vietnam when he smothered an enemy grenade to save his fellow soldiers.

The selected 10 artifacts, and their nominating organizations, will be featured in an online public voting competition to take place from Feb. 20, 2024, to March 3, 2024.

Prior to its arrival at the Historical Society, the medal was beautifully mounted in a shadowbox, but time has taken a toll on the adhesive properties used in the box, which now needs restoring.

The artifact that receives the most votes in the online voting competition will receive the People’s Choice Award of $1,000 for conservation and/or preservation. The Selection Committee also will bestow a $1,000 conservation/preservation award to the item it deems most deserving. The remaining eight organizations receive awards of $250.

Miller is one of 35 Virginians to be recognized for their bravery, and one of six Virginians to receive the Medal of Honor from conflicts relating to the Vietnam War. He attended Dabney S. Lancaster Community College from 1965-66 when it was still a branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The medal was presented by President Richard M. Nixon on Aug. 6, 1970, to the Miller family at the White House.

Once voting ends, the medal will be part of a Vietnam War exhibit at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond from November 2024 through April of 2025.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for military valor in action. Since its inception during the American Civil War, 3,536 individuals have been acknowledged for their bravery, courage and sacrifice. The object was submitted to the competition by curator Ashley Webb.

Votes can be cast here

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