Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel named Milwaukee County “Veteran of the Year”

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Veterans Board of Directors held its Veterans Day Banquet on Tuesday evening, November 11th at the War Memorial Center — and during that banquet, Gary Wetzel was named Milwaukee County’s “Veteran of the Year” for 2015.

Gary Wetzel

Gary Wetzel

Gary Wetzel is a recipient of the Medal of Honor — the highest honor a soldier can receive.

Wetzel joined the Army at age 18.

By 1968, he was a Private First Class serving as a door gunner in the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company.

Wetzel received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam. His helicopter was shot down, and Wetzel came under heavy enemy fire.

Severely wounded by an explosion which nearly severed his left arm, he continued to man his machine gun and help other injured soldiers. Wetzel survived his wounds, although his left arm had to be amputated.

For decades, Wetzel has worked to help soldiers and their families, and he his spoken about post-traumatic stress disorder. He serves on the fundraising board for the Fisher House.

The Milwaukee VA’s Fisher House will be located just northwest of Lake Wheeler and be within walking distance of the medical center. The 13,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in the summer of 2015 and will offer 16 suites, all professionally furnished and decorated.

Related stories:

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.