Faces Behind YOUR MMC
An Event that has Touched Her Life Forever
Mindy Gosser describes herself as loyal and faithful, traits she likes
to think she obtained from her father.
On a 70-degree day nearly 50 years ago, Dennis Keith Millison, a rifleman
with the U.S. Marine Corps 3rd Battalion, was on a search and destroy
mission in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, 8,340 miles from his home in northwestern
Pennsylvania. PFC Millison was under heavy fire and pulled a wounded soldier
to safety, exemplifying the Marine Corps motto, “Semper Fidelis”
— always loyal, always faithful. Upon returning to his battle position,
he triggered an explosive device and was killed instantly. PFC Millison,
just 20 years old, served in Vietnam 26 days.
Mindy was two and a half years old when her father was killed in action.
“I don’t actually remember being told what happened to my
father, but I recollect men in uniforms coming to the house and everyone
being inconsolable, then being shuffled off to another room,” Mindy
said. “My next memory is standing with my mother and placing my
hand on a casket and receiving a rose. I recall hearing that my father
was going to live with Jesus.”
Being raised without a father made Mindy the independent, self-sufficient
woman she is today. “Because of my background, I realize how important
it is for my children, Leanna, Makayla and Matthew, to be independent
and well educated so they can live happy, productive lives,” she said.
“My father was the second soldier from Mercer County to be killed
in Vietnam, so it drew a lot of attention in the small town of Sharon.
Not to mention at that time, Vietnam was a very controversial conflict,”
Mindy continued. “While visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
in 1989 with my Aunt Cathy, I remember feeling void of emotion. My aunt
wanted me to trace my father’s name and I couldn’t move; I
was like a deer in the headlights. I don’t know why I reacted that
way. I knew he was dead; I had grown up without a father, but something
deep inside of me did not want to see his name on that wall. Maybe it
was the impact of seeing before me 58,178 names of soldiers that never
Dennis Millison and his bride had been high school sweethearts. He was
killed just a few days short of their third wedding anniversary. Mindy’s
life was forever changed on February 26, 1969.
“When my son, Matthew was five,” Mindy remarked, “I recall
him asking me if Grandpa was a superhero and me responding that he was.
In my heart, he always will be.”
Mindy has experienced sadness in her life, but she has also drawn a great
deal of strength and pride from her experience. She is a wonderful mother
and maintains very close relationships with her children. “I love
attending their events and activities,” said a smiling Mindy. “We
are Disney enthusiasts. Yes, we are THAT family that lives and breathes
everything Disney. We actually start to plan our next trip to Disney while
on a Disney vacation.” In fact, the Gosser family has been to Disney
World 16 times! She is living proof that she is her father’s daughter
— loving, faithful and loyal.
We are proud to introduce you to our September 2017 “Faces Behind
YOUR MMC” representative, Mindy Gosser, Administrative Assistant,