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This profile was last updated on 2/21/06  and contains information from public web pages.

George Michael Gratzer

Wrong George Michael Gratzer?

Life Member

Phone: (816) ***-****  HQ Phone
VFW Magazine
406 West 34Th Street Suite 514
Kansas City , Missouri 64111
United States

Company Description: Created as a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, the VFW Foundation offers or supports numerous programs that directly aid veterans, people on active duty in...   more

Employment History

  • Captain
Web References
About The Author, 21 Feb 2006 [cached]
George Michael "Sonny" Gratzer was born in Eveleth, Minnesota on 5 May 1940, and raised from infancy in Butte, Montana. A graduate of Butte Public High School and the University of Montana (BA History '63, MFA in creative writing '76), he was commissioned a US Army Officer in ROTC. He completed Airborne and Ranger training at Fort Benning, GA. He served with the 4th Armored Division in Germany where he was awarded the Expert Infantryman's Badge and the Army Commendation Medal. A trip to Panama earned him the Jungle Expert Patch. He then served in the 1st Infantry Division in Viet Nam. His other military decorations and awards include the Silver Star (1st Oak leaf Cluster) Soldiers Medal, Bronze Star w/Valor (1st Oak leaf Cluster) Purple Heart (1st & 2nd Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (1st & 2nd Oak Leaf Clusters), Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (Silver and Gold Stars), National Defense Service Ribbon, Vietnamese Campaign Ribbon w/2 stars, the Vietnamese Service Medal w/device, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. He was medically retired as a Captain in 1968. He is a Life Member of the VFW, ROA, MOAA, DAV, MOPH, American Legion, US Army Ranger Association, NRA, PVA, and is a 32 degree Scottish Rite Freemason.
Silver Star, 9 Dec 2000 [cached]
U.S. Army Capt. George M. "Sonny" Gratzer left Vietnam in the midst of a
from the ground after he was seriously wounded. Now, more than three decades later, the Butte native and University of Montana graduate is being honored with a second Silver Star and first oak leaf cluster. He distinguished himself during six February days in Vietnam while he was in
Heavily decorated for his service in Vietnam, Gratzer initially received a single Silver Star, as well as the Bronze Star (first oak leaf cluster) and the Purple Heart (second oak leaf cluster.) "While in command of a mechanized infantry company with an attached tank platoon ... (Gratzer) skillfully and courageously exposed himself to extreme enemy fire while directing return fire using his tanks, machine guns and supporting artillery," reads a presidential citation. "His actions contributed immeasurably to the battalion's success and helped save the lives of his men," continues the citation. Gratzer was attached to Team Bravo, an infantry company in the south jungles of Vietnam, chasing the Headquarters Company of the 7th North Vietnamese Army. The soldier's job was to keep the landing zone open during the day and chase the enemy at night. "We killed quite a few people coming in and we had to firefight all the time," he said. "It was a long and arduous deal." On Feb. 9, after several members of his unit were wounded or killed, Gratzer was shot in the left side, with the bullet cutting six nerve roots before exiting his right side.
believing Gratzer had received a Distinguished Service Cross and several Silver Stars. When Gratzer told him he had a single Star, and after Gratzer's inquiry to the Military Awards Division was ignored, the commander put into motion the congressional paperwork to see that Gratzer was finally recognized. Three other surviving members of his unit wrote support letters. There is other Silver Star paperwork he's seen that is dated earlier than this recognition, so there could even be a third Silver Star pending, said Gratzer. "I appreciate it," he said.
Grandkids, 1 Feb 2007 [cached]
George (Sonny) Gratzer Family Pictures
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