Congratulations to Staff Sgt. Daniel R. Looney and Staff Sgt. Edward B. Wiley, both of the U.S. Marine Corps, for being recognized as the 2019 winners of the Gary Wetzel Award.
Gary Wetzel was a Private First Class serving as a door gunner in the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company in the Vietnam War when his helicopter was shot down and the survivors, including Wetzel, came under heavy enemy fire. Despite devastating injuries, Wetzel remained at his position until he had eliminated the threat thereby protecting and saving the lives of his crew and others.
Wetzel survived his wounds, although his left arm had to be amputated. He was subsequently promoted to Specialist Four and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.
This award will be presented to Looney and Wiley on Monday night, May 13 at the Armed Forces Week Banquet. These brave men are two members of our armed services who have served with valor while currently on active duty.
Milwaukee Brewers’ Robin Yount to receive prestigious Citizen Support Award during Milwaukee Armed Forces Week
Robin Yount, the Hall of Fame shortstop and outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers and two-time American League MVP Award winner, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Citizen Support for the Armed Services Award by the Milwaukee Armed Services Committee (MASC).
Yount will be recognized for his unique support, and personal and professional service to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the annual Armed Forces Week banquet held at the Wisconsin Club, 900 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee.
“Many years ago, Robin flew with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels while they were in Milwaukee for an air show,” recalls Capt. Tom Plantenberg, USNR (Retired), and president of the Milwaukee Armed Services Committee (MASC). “After the flight, there was a reenlistment ceremony for several of the sailors under my command and he gave them signed baseballs. Since then Robin has been a constant contributor to the Centurions, which provide financial support for Armed Forces Week, and he often donates memorabilia for our golf auction. His combination of humility, humor, humanity and personal honor all make him a strong choice to receive this year’s award.”
Bob Uecker, who received the Citizen Support Award last year, will be on hand for Yount’s presentation.
Yount, who was 18 years old when he debuted with the Brewers in April of 1974, quickly became the Brewers starting shortstop. Not only was he named an American League MVP in that position, but he led the Brewers to their first (and only) World Series appearance after a regular-season record of 95-67. Though injuries later forced him to play the outfield, Yount proved up to the task, earning his second A.L. MVP honor as a center fielder.
On Sept. 9, 1992, Yount marked his 3,000 hit against the Cleveland Indians, the 17th player in MLB history to earn such an achievement.
Yount’s final season in the major leagues came in 1993. He ended his baseball career with 3,142 hits, the most in Brewers’ history. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. On May 29, 1994, the Brewers retired his uniform number 19, the third player in franchise history to be so honored, keeping him in good company with Brewers' Hall of Fame players Hank Aaron and Rollie Fingers.
Kimberly Mitchell, president & CEO of Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) and a former Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, is this year’s keynote speaker for the Milwaukee Armed Forces Week Banquet.
Mitchell will speak at the sold-out event on Monday, May 13 at the Wisconsin Club in downtown Milwaukee. The event will also honor recipients of the Gary Wetzel Award and the Citizen Support for Our Armed Services Award. Mitchell will also speak at the Milwaukee Rotary Club Luncheon at noon on Tuesday, May 14.
Mitchell, who spent part of her youth growing up in northern Wisconsin, is a vocal advocate for service members, veterans, military families and families of the fallen. As the first non-Vietnam Veteran CEO of Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), she leads her team in serving more than 3,000 veterans annually by providing programs for homeless vets. Those services include residential treatment programs, mental health, substance use disorder treatment, case management, therapy, job training, job placement, and housing navigation services. Over the past nine years, Mitchell has created a nationwide network of support utilizing grassroots solutions to address the challenges of transition and reintegration for our service members, veterans and military families.
Mitchell has a compelling story to share. As an infant, she was discovered in the arms of her deceased mother on the side of the road in South Vietnam. A man who found her then passed her on to a South Vietnamese Marine hoping he could save her life. That South Vietnamese Marine took her Sacred Heart Orphanage in DaNang. In 1972, Mitchell was adopted by Air Force Technical Sergeant James Mitchell serving in DaNang. After a few more years in the service, Kim and her family moved to Solon Springs, Wisconsin. She is recognized for her devotion to Vietnam Veterans and Vietnam era veterans.
Mitchell served in the United States Navy for 17 years as a Surface Warfare Officer on board surface ships and at shore commands. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy in Ocean Engineering and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management from The George Washington University.
In addition to Mitchell's visit, service member and citizen award recognitions, a motorcycle ride for troops and a public military display are among the events planned throughout the city for Milwaukee Armed Forces Week, May 13-18. This year’s theme is “Forward with Truth and Honor,” says Capt. Thomas Platenberg, president of the Milwaukee Armed Services Committee (MASC).