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VIDEO | Eugene Mueller goes to great lengths to acquire Purple Heart for brother killed in Vietnam

Slinger, WI – It’s a big day today for Eugene Mueller and his family; one they’ve been waiting for for 53 years. On this Memorial Day, Mueller of Slinger, will be joined by his brother, sister and extended family to accept a Purple Heart medal in honor of his brother Sgt. Joseph Mueller who was killed during a training exercise in Vietnam in 1970.

Eugene Mueller of Slinger
Mueller was humble in his tone but gave credit where it was due when he spoke about the extensive process they went through and hurdles they faced to get to today.

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“Me and Andy (Gehring) have been working on this for about two and a half years,” said Mueller. “We went to the veterans office in West Bend filed all the paperwork and we never heard back from them.
“Then Andy and I met earlier this spring and talked about it and he said he’d call U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and see if she he can help, and it all came together within two months.”
Sgt. Mueller, a 1965 graduate of Slinger High School, served from February 26, 1970 to March 21,1970.
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.”
Eugene Mueller said, considering the circumstances he is happy his brother will finally get the recognition he deserves.
“I feel great,” he said. “I mean I lost a brother in war and this is just supposed to recognize that type of thing. I feel really proud we got it settled.
“My dad had the paperwork and all that stuff for years and then when he died, he passed on to my sister and she tried to get the Purple Heart but one of her son-in-laws who’s in the military said it’s going to cost her a lot of money.
“It’s not right,” said Mueller. “When you died for that metal, you shouldn’t have to pay for it with something else.”


Accepting the Purple Heart at the Memorial Day post-parade ceremony in Slinger will be Mueller’s brother Eugene and Marty Mueller and his sister Marie of Germantown, WI. Presenting the metal will be Senator Baldwin.
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.

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