Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

50 years ago

May 23, 1965

By bringing together pastors who served in Vietnam during the war, Howard Miller hopes to help other veterans and their families in a way that he feels is not being fully realized now.

Miller, an Oneonta native who served in Vietnam during 1966 and 1967, is hoping to contact local Vietnam veterans who are now ministers and would be willing to work with veterans who are still affected by the war.

Currently a certified lay speaker in the United Methodist Church in Oneonta, Miller said he realizes that pastors are busy, but feels those who served in Vietnam are best able to help other veterans.

He is working toward becoming ordained, and is not clinically trained in counseling. But his daily efforts around Oneonta put him in touch with scores of veterans who look to him for spiritual support.

“There is a great feeling of animosity toward the Christian church by Vietnam veterans,” he said. Alcoholism and drug abuse are common, and many lost their faith during the war.

His work on behalf of the men and women he served with has earned the support of several local clergy.

“I’m glad that Howard has a chance to reach out to any Vietnam veteran, particularly those who have become estranged from the traditional church,” said the Rev. William Bouton, pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Oneonta.

“There is an awful lot of pain still in the men and women who served,” Bouton said, “and we should do everything to help them come to grips with what they went through and deal with what they are going through now.”

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