‘We’re proud of our service; we’re still ready to defend our country if needed’ – Heather Buchanan

TOP PHOTO: Robert “Eddie” Miller and Heather Buchanan along with Cheech finish up Sunday afternoon shopping at Walmart.

By Jim Freeman

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Former military mechanics Heather Buchanan and Robert “Eddie” Miller are enjoying life in the mountains after growing up in the flat lands of Indiana.

Little did the engaged couple know that after meeting each other during their middle school years around Indianapolis that they’d reconnect years later in La Follette. “Neither of us knew the other had served in the US Army until we reunited,” said Buchanan.

Both were carrying on family traditions by enlisting out of high school, 1991-1998 for Miller, and Buchanan served from 1993 until 1995. Miller’s father and grandfather were in the Army while Buchanan was influenced by her US Army Air Corp serving grandfather.

“I actually served with my dad in his unit, Charlie Battery. That’s C-Battery, the 139th Artillery Division, that was dissolved and became a part of Stout Army Field,” said Miller.

She enlisted a year out of high school and spent her career at Fort Bragg, NC, as a mechanic. “I worked on five-ton semi-trucks and on down,” said Buchanan.

Miller was one of the last enlistees in the split option. “I went through basic training the summer between my junior and senior years of high school and then went back after graduation,” he said. He was one of the youngest honor graduates.

Cheech is in charge. US Army Veterans Eddie Miller and Heather Buchanan take time for a photo with their dog Cheech.

At one point, Buchanan was put on detail as a cook. The mechanic turned cook helped out when all members of the Ft. Bragg airborne units were put on lock down because of an incident at Haiti. “I was confined with them until it was learned that they weren’t needed,” she said.

Miller’s unit was ready to deploy right when Desert Storm ended. “We were on the call after training for desert combat at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In fact, our unit was one of the first to train with digital laser simulators,” said Miller.

“I’m proud of our service. We’re still ready to defend our country, if we need to,” she said.

“Once I was on a salute with my dad and our unit at a cemetery. We’d asked everyone around to move their cars to avoid damage. Some people did not move their cars when told, and when the howitzers were fired for the 21-gun salute, car alarms sounded and cars suffered damage.

So with two military mechanics in the same household, who takes care of the family cars? “Robert is the main mechanic here at home, and, of course, I help, too,” said Buchanan. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/10/2023-6AM)