Veteran of the Month: Donald Tillery


By Milan Eagle Media

“I don’t remember becoming interested in the service, I was raised that you graduate high school, serve your country, and then go on with your life and make your mark. I can tell you that I was certainly a black sheep being a military policeman! I am the only person in my entire family to ever pursue law enforcement.” Those words are from Donald Tillery, The Milan Eagle’s Veteran of the month for March and Milan’s Chief of Police.
Donald Tillery was a 17 year old resident of Waterford, MI. when he finished high school early. His father had served in the Army so when he thought of joining the service, he naturally gravitated towards that branch. Because of his age, his father had to sign papers for Donald to join the military. He attended Military Police School in Ft. McLellan, AL.
Tillery commented, “I soon learned the lessons that molded me as a young man, and that I carry with me still today: Duty, Honor, Service, Integrity. and most all, that if I never give up, I can accomplish any goal.”
Serving as a Military Policeman from 1982 to 1985 and as an Infantry Drill Sergeant from 1985 to 1988, he earned the Good Conduct Medal in 1985, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge and Army Achievement Medal in 1986, as well as the Army Achievement Medal, 1st Oak Leaf Cluster in 1987.
He believes, to this day, that the military makes young men and women into better people. One goes into the service usually very young and with little lifelong skills. One comes out of the military, however, with respect, honor, having learned responsibility, learned to follow orders, learned to issue orders, and a host of skills that are attractive to employers…and family.
The training he received as a military policeman, sparked his love for law enforcement and ultimately led to his career in the Michigan State Police and later as a Chief of Police.
He said, “ there is simply no better foundry to forge high quality men and women, than that in the service of their country. In war or in peace, the military produces people that can lead, accomplish, and set new standards regardless of the circumstances.”
Tillery has a profound sense of pride that he feels, to this day, from having served his country, It is truthfully an honor to have done so.
Tillery and his wife Lisa have been married 28 ½ years and they have two grown children, David is a physician in Ohio and Lauren is a senior at Central Michigan University majoring in Education. Tillery has over 30 years of experience in Karate, he has earned his 5th Dan (ranking). He calls Karate his hobby.

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