A World War II veteran who served the British Royal Navy with distinction was told he’s now too old to take part in an annual parade honoring veterans.
The Express reports that 89-year-old Albert “Dusty” Miller has served as the grand marshal for nearly 40 years in the Royal British Legion’s annual Remembrance Day parade.
The reason? Officials say Miller is “too old to be insured.”
“They came up to me and said, 'I've got a bit of bad news for you,’” Miller told the paper. "At first I thought somebody had died and it was going to be another funeral. Then they told me HQ insisted I had to stand down as parade marshal.”
The World War II vet enlisted when he was just 16-years-old. The Express says he was awarded for each of the four military campaigns he took part in during the war, receiving the 1939-45 Star, the Atlantic Star medal, the Burma Star with a Pacific clasp and the International Submarine Service medal.
Miller said he argued that he’s still fit enough to handle the requirements of being the parade’s marshal, the requirements of which are described and organizing and leading the annual veteran’s parade. But the organizers told him that technically he should have retired from parade duties when he turned 85 because of the insurance rules.
"It hit me like a ton of bricks,” Miller said. "I was that disgusted I didn't know what to say.”
The Royal British Legion has not commented on the story but Miller noted he had served as marshal for 38 consecutive years and that, "I never even knew standard-bearers had to be insured.”