Slinger, WI – A special tribute will be held in Slinger on Memorial Day as Vietnam veteran Sgt. Joseph Mueller, who died in training in 1970, will be awarded the Purple Heart during the post-parade ceremony.
The acquisition of a Purple Heart has taken a yeoman’s effort by the Mueller and Gehring families.
Sgt. Mueller, a 1965 graduate of Slinger High School, served from February 26, 1970 to March 21,1970.
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Andy Gehring of Slinger, working on behalf of Eugene Mueller, was instrumental in helping the family recognize their lost sibling.
According to Gehring, Joseph Mueller was participating in a non-combative operation. He had arrived in Vietnam 10 days earlier. Mueller was practicing grenade throwing when the soldier next to him dropped a grenade and it exploded.
Sgt. Joseph Mueller is buried in the cemetery at Nabob St. Matthias where Sunday, May 14 a 175-year celebration will be held. There will be a blessing of the cemetery following the Mass at 12:30 p.m.
Sgt. Joseph Mueller was awarded a Bronze Star. Gehring wrote to Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office to help secure the Purple Heart. Sgt. Mueller’s records were destroyed in a fire in St. Louis, MO., that’s why, Gehring said, Senator Baldwin got involved.
“She deserves a lot of credit,” said Gehring. “We wrote a lot of letters, but Baldwin’s office got it done.”
Accepting the Purple Heart at the Memorial Day post-parade ceremony will be Mueller’s brothers Eugene and Marty Mueller and his sister Marie of Germantown, WI.
Andy Gehring, Thomas Haase and Mark Schellinger from the Allenton VFW have been working to get all the logistics squared away.
Haase is coordinating the parade as a member of the Slinger VFW Post 3358.
The Slinger Memorial Day Parade steps off at 10 a.m. and the post-parade ceremony will be at Union Cemetery. Haase said they will find out Friday, May 12, 2023 whether Sen. Baldwin will be in attendance to present the Purple Heart.