"I felt better about giving uniforms to the soldiers here instead of them hanging in the closet," WWII veteran Bill Miller said on Tuesday.

Miller made a donation of four of his World War II uniforms to Fort Dodge to be displayed in the musuem.

Master SGT William Miller, U.S. Army, was 20 when he was drafted and was enlisted in the 149th Company B Engineer Battalion and was a part of the first wave of soldiers to attack Normandy Beach on D-Day in 1944.

"I had scored high on the exams and was assigned to be the assistant to the company clerk," Miller said.

Miller said he was reassigned leading up to the invasion and his first assignment was to report casualties of those missing, wounded or killed.

"So I had to leave my company and moved to headquarters and a school teacher out of Topeka took my place," Miller said. "Seventeen members of Company B that I had trained with and knew firsthand, had died and among them was the guy that took my job.

"For a long time I always wondered why it was me who survived."

Accepting the uniform donation was Kansas Soldier's Home superintendent Dave Smith.

"First I'd like to thank you for your service," Smith told Miller. "It is people like you that allow us to live the lives we do today.

"The destruction you saw must have been catastrophic."

Smith went on to say that the uniforms will be placed in the Fort Dodge museum within the next few months with a full display.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com