WASHINGTON, D.C. --
Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro presented Mrs. Marjorie L. Miller and Mr. Arthur P. Miller, Jr., the Principal Trustees of the Rear Admiral Charles H. and Marjorie L. Lyman Trust, with the 2021 Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award at a ceremony held at the Pentagon, Oct. 27.
“As someone who wore the uniform for 22 years while raising a family with my wife Betty, I am especially grateful for the work that people like Marjorie and Arthur do to take care of our military families,” said Secretary Del Toro. “Organizations like the Fisher House Foundation and the Lyman Trust are a lifeline and a blessing to our service members and their families.”
Since 1993, the Lyman Trust, named after Marjorie Miller’s late father and mother, have supported Sailors, Marines, and their families with more than $430,000 in financial aid to programs that enhance the quality of life for the military community, specifically for childcare and family wellness programs.
“This [Trust] has been a very important part of our lives for a good number of years, so I was particularly honored to be nominated by the Navy and then to be selected for the award,” said Mrs. Miller. “The Fishers certainly have been an inspiration and their aspirations and what they considered priorities were very much similar to ours.”
The Trust’s mission is “to assist in the improvement and well-being of Navy and Marine Corps service members and families living on or near military bases, thereby encouraging them to remain committed to a life of military service, and to strengthen ties between the community and the military.” The family-run trust has been guided by four priorities for nearly 30 years:
1) Acclimating to high-stress demands of military life;
2) Programs to prevent and address destructive behavior;
3) Emergency family services; and
4) Recreational services.
Various grants have been given to programs all over the country and overseas. The first project provided respite care at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Many other programs were related to childcare and helping at-risk families. As issues for the Navy community evolved, so did the support from the Lyman Trust, but its trustees ensured all grants were within the scope of the original mission.
“From childcare, teen and youth centers to athletic fields, facilities, and counseling programs, the Millers, through the Lyman Trust have been there for Sailors and Marines,” said Dave Coker, president of Fisher House Foundation. “Zachary and Elizabeth believed that taking care of military families was the least we could do to honor our military men and women. The Millers have shown that they believe in this important mission, too. Zach and Elizabeth would be proud to know this award is going to another couple that share the same values that they did and demonstrate this not only in word, but also in deeds.”
The Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award is a Department of Defense honor given to individuals and organizations that demonstrate the qualities of exceptional patriotism, generosity, and selfless dedication to members of the armed forces. Nominations are submitted through each branch of the military services and the final recipient is chosen from among all the services. The responsibility for presenting the award rotates between the Army, Navy, and Air Force each year.