Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame inducts Judge Milich
By William K. Alcorn
Retired Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert P. Milich was among the 20-member Class of 2018 inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame on Thursday.
“It’s an extremely high honor,” said Judge Milich, an Air Force veteran. He was nominated for the honor by the Mahoning/Shenango Military Officers Association of America.
In the Vietnam War era, he interrupted his law-school studies at Ohio State University to join the Air Force as a logistics officer and military intelligence specialist. From 1972 through 1995, he was a member of the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna and served in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
Judge Milich, 76, who retired due to age limits after nearly 20 years of service as municipal court judge, is perhaps best known for pioneering the Youngstown Veterans Treatment Court in 2010, where participating veterans plead guilty to nonviolent charges which can be dismissed if they complete monitored, court-ordered, mental-health or drug-treatment programs.
There have been more than 60 people in the program; 48 of whom graduated and none of whom committed a crime after completing the program, he said.
The judge ended up in the Air Force by following advice from his father. He graduated from a 90-day officer training school in Texas and was stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. While out west, he met his wife, Kay, whom he dubbed a “war bride from Los Angeles. I took her from Hollywood to Youngstown and she loves it here.”
They have two children, Cynthia Milich Thomas of Columbus, and a son, Edward of San Francisco. They also have four grandchildren.
Judge Milich served on active duty from May 1967 to September 1971, including a year in Germany, and was a reserve from 1972 to 1995 with the 910th Airlift Wing.
“The military gives you a worldwide network and structure. ... It gives you camaraderie you don’t get anyplace else. ... It gives you a family,” he said.
He is a 1959 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame. He started his college career studying business at Youngstown State University, received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Utah and earned his law degree from the University of Akron.
Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to recognize outstanding professional achievement, service to the community and selfless acts of veterans after their military service. Past honorees include astronaut Neil Armstrong.
The induction ceremony took place at Radiant Life Church in Dublin, a Columbus suburb.