News: Neillsville American Legion to Honor Greeler & Kreitlow (2016)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

----Surnames: Greeler, Kreitlow, Seelow, Eibergen, Levanduske, Buddenhagen, Opelt

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark, Co) 11/02/2016

American Legion to Honor Veterans Greeler & Kreitlow (2 November 2016)

American Legion to Honor Veterans Greeler & Kreitlow

Erland Greeler will be honored for his military service during a special recognition program Monday, Nov. 7, at the Neillsville American Legion Club. Greeler served in the U. S. Army from 1952 until his honorable discharge in 1954. (Contributed Photos)

By Todd Schmidt

Military veterans Erland Greeler and Joseph Kreitlow will be honored by Neillsville American Legion Post 73 during a special program Monday, Nov. 7. Social hour is scheduled at 4:30 p.m., with a potluck meal starting at 5:30 p.m. and the recognition program to follow.

Greeler was born in the Town of York on the family homestead. He attended Happy Hollow Grade School for six years and then advanced through the 8th grade at St. John’s Lutheran School. He graduated from Neillsville High School in 1950.

Greeler helped his dad farm for two years, before being drafted into the U. S. Army in 1952. He went through basic training at Indian Town Gap, PA., which also featured heavy weapons instruction. He stayed on another eight weeks, as the Army was closing the camp.

After Greeler got orders to go to Korea, he went home for a two-week leave. He then went to Ft. Lewis, WA, where he shipped out to Korea.

“We were on the ship for 14 days,” Greeler recalled. “It was rough seas and I did not feel the best.”

Greeler’s company performed the same mock warfare and guard duty on the 38th Parallel as they did in basic training.

“We had to walk through a lot of rice paddies,” He said.

Greeler’s parents and Fritz Seelow came to Korea to visit him. Greeler said his company got two weeks of rest and relaxation leave in Japan.

It took 16 days to return to Ft. Lewis. From there, Greeler went to Ft. Sheridan, IL, where he was discharged the day before Thanksgiving in 1954. He rode the 400 train to Merrillan, where Betty Eibergen happened to be to give him a ride home.

Greeler returned to farming with his dad. He purchased the farm in 1976.

Greeler retired in 1997, when his son Wayne bought the farm. He then built a home on the family property.

In 1963, Greeler married Velda Levanduske. They have four children: Wayne, Karen, Beverly and Brian, and enjoy 10 grandchildren and one step-grandchild.

Greeler still helps a little on the farm. He enjoys reading and watching all sports on TV. In the past years, he and Velda traveled to many states and several foreign countries. They still enjoy dancing, which they did almost every Satruday night for years.

In 2014, Greeler went on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

Joseph Kreitlow will be honored for his military service during a special recognition program Monday, Nov. 7, at the Neillsville American Legion Club. Kreitlow joined the Army National Guard in 1958. The 32nd Red Arrow Division as activated in 1961 during the Berlin Crisis. Kreitlow was an active member of the National Guard until the 1970s. (Contributed Photos)

Kreitlow was born in Dancy, WI. He attended ST. John’s Lutheran School in Wisconsin Rapids and graduated from Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School in 1958.

Kreitlow worked at the IGA grocery store in Wisconsin Rapids, before joining the Army National Guard in 1958. He received basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, and then was assigned to artillery school at Ft. Sill, OK.

He returned home for a few months and was then called to active duty. He went with the 32nd Red Arrow Division to Ft. Lewis, WA, to serve during the Berlin Crisis.

Kreitlow was stationed there for one year. His unit trained in the Mohave Desert and the Yakima Mountains and the surrounding valleys.

He was an active member of the National Guard until the 1970s. In 1963, while Kreitlow was serving in the National Guard and was employed as the meat manager at the Neillsville IGA, he gave a demonstration on cutting the front quarter of beef to the cooks of Company C of the 732nd Maintenance Battalion of the Wisconsin National Guard.

In attendance were the battalion commander, the 5th Army inspector general, the company commander and the army advisor.

“I earned another rank for my demonstration,” Kreitlow said.

He was the IGA meat manager for three years.

After returning from active duty, he worked a short time at Weyerhauser in Marshfield and for the Sammie Ball Station.

“I remember being paid in gas and tires,” he smiled. In 1966, Kreitlow started working at Nelson Muffler. He retired from there in 1999.

He married Sandy Buddenhagen in 1964. They have three children: Dusty, Clay and Jessie, and 10 grandchildren.

For many years, Kreitlow loved to hunt and fish. He assisted the Opelt crew and others with butchering chores. He was a big help with his meat-cutting experience.

I was always paid with meat for helping,” he said.

Kreitlow now suffers from arthritis and does not go many places.

“I will be attending the potluck Nov. 7 at the American Legion,” he said. “It is quite an honor for us veterans to be recognized for our service.”



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