Retired Lt. Gen. Emmett H. "Mickey" Walker, 83, a decorated World War II veteran who served as chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington during the Reagan administration, has died.

Mr. Walker died Wednesday after a lengthy illness, his son, John, confirmed. Mr. Walker was born in Abbott, Miss., on March 16, 1924. He spent 42 years in uniform during a military career that took him from foreign battlefields to Washington.

He was a platoon leader with the 95th Infantry Division during World War II and earned the Silver Star for braving enemy fire during the Battle of Metz in France. He served in the Far East Command liaison group in Japan during the Korean War.

After heading the Mississippi National Guard he served as chief of the National Guard Bureau under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1986.

He worked closely with a friend, Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, in crafting the Montgomery GI Bill. The bill, passed in 1984, increased educational and other benefits for troops and gave a recruiting boost to the all-volunteer military.

- AP