Back to Media

U.S. military veteran recognized for service during Kabul airport attack 8/30/23

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WLUK) — Life changed for Mike Gretzon on Aug. 26, 2021, when he was injured in a suicide bombing that resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. military members.

“We were hit by the suicide bomber,” Gretzon said. “Nine of the thirteen that died were in my platoon. They all died to the left and behind me. I managed to get lucky with only ball bearings coming through my left arm.”

Two years later, Gretzon is back in Wisconsin, where he’s still feeling the effects of what happened during his deployment. It’s been a slow and often difficult road to recovery.

“At first, it was going downhill pretty quickly,” Gretzon said. “You get stuck in that dark place and you can’t really get out of it for a while.”

Gretzon’s sacrifice hasn’t gone unnoticed. U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-8th District, honored him Wednesday night in front of dozens of supporters.

“We have all these stories of heroism and service and sacrifice that may never make their way into a book or movie, but they’re important to remember,” Gallagher said. “So we just felt it was important to shine a light on Mike’s service and he’s a great American.”

Gallagher said Gretzon is a perfect example of someone who felt a sense of responsibility, inspiring the next generation.

“We take it for granted in America,” Gallagher said. “But as the old saying goes, freedom isn’t free. We need young men and women volunteer to put their lives on the line so that we can have freedoms here at home.”

Read the full article here.