Anyone can become disabled at any time. An accident or illness can suddenly change a person’s healthy, normal lifestyle forever. That’s why David Miller, paralegal, Administrative Law Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, believes that work is a celebration of health for everyone.
“I celebrate that I’m healthy [enough] to do well at work, and I want other disabled individuals to have the same opportunity to work that I had. So, I do all that I can to help disabled individuals join in the celebration of work,” Miller stated.
Miller, an Army veteran, started working on Fort Huachuca in 1993. Since then Miller has worked diligently to make improvements and create opportunities for persons with disabilities. He ensures that individuals’ workplace needs are met and feels that many workplace issues can be resolved quickly if both management and the disabled individual communicate their needs.
“Since I work as part of the government management team, anything I can do to help resolve these issues prevents arguments from escalating into a formal, legal action against the government. Therefore, any assistance I can provide benefits both the disabled individual and the government,” Miller added.
Due to his hard work and dedication, Miller is the recipient of both the Department of Defense/Office of the Secretary of Defense Disability (Military and Civilian) Award for 2012 and the 2012 Secretary of the Army Award for Disability. After earning the Army award, he competed against winners from other branches of the service.
“The Army’s recipients have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions to their country not only in the areas of Equal Employment Opportunity, Equal Opportunity and civil rights and leadership programs, but also as positive role models and public service to their local communities,” stated Margaret Barfield, program manager headquarters, Department of the Army office of the deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Diversity and Leadership).
Miller says he never imagined that accepting the appointment and accomplishing tasks would result in such a high honor, and he is very fortunate to be recognized.
“If your leaders set your standards low, Soldiers and civilians will meet them. But, if your leaders set your standards high, and encourage you to be the best you can be, then awards and honors may be achieved,” Miller said.
Miller added that he owes a great deal of this honor to the Civilian EEO office, Beth Ford, Sharon Walker, the SJA office, Richard Wolfe and Daniel Haws for their encouragement.
As for his future, Miller says he plans to continue to strive to make positive changes and create opportunities and improvements for persons with disabilities.
“Over the years, many improvements have been made to the entry ways of buildings, and parking lots to assist the disabled [on Fort Huachuca]. I will continue to monitor these areas and make suggestions for improvements,” Miller stated.