September 29, 1947, South Milwaukee,  Gary George Wetzel, is a former United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.   Wetzel joined the Army from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at age 18, and by January 8, 1968 was a Private First Class serving as a door gunner in the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company. On that day, near Ap Dong An, Republic of Vietnam, his helicopter was shot down and the survivors, including 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. He was subsequently promoted to Specialist Four and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

  • Wetzel_Gary_2

More Honored Vets

Larsen, David R.

Navy Cross Recipient, Navy

Williams, Woodrow ‘Woody’ Hershel

Medal of Honor recipient, Marines

Jefferson Alexander

Purple Heart, Army Air Corp

Stewart, Harry Jr.

Distinguished Flying Cross, Army Air Corp

Lemon, Peter C.

Medal of Honor recipient, Army