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.
Looney's is being awarded for his courageous service under fire in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, executing over 95 combat patrols. Wiley's honors comes for valor in Operation Iraqi Freedom and service under fire. He received the Purple Heart/Combat Action Ribbon.
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.