Thursday, October 15, 2020

Gary Wetzel

Gary George Wetzel (1947) 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 United States Army from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at age 18 in 1965. By January 8, 1968 he 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 that 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.

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