Hometown Hero: Jeff Huelsbeck honors father by helping local veterans after 48 years of service

Hometown Heroes

(WFRV) – Jeff Huelsbeck has been involved with the military for years, but it’s what he does today for those who serve that sets him apart.

Born in Menasha, Huelsbeck volunteered for the military in 1973, making him a Vietnam-era vet.

“I just wanted to get in and do something productive. So, the military seemed like a perfect fit,” says Huelsbeck.

He ended up in the Field Artillery branch of the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany for 33 months.

“We just did training in different aspects of artillery surveying, went out and did trig recovery, things of that nature out in the country.”

After finishing up his time in the service on active duty stateside, Huelsbeck decided it was time for a break from the military.

But it didn’t last long. He got a call from a recruiter in the ’80s and returned to be a drill sergeant, eventually becoming a first sergeant.

Huelsbeck trained troops and taught leadership skills for the next 16 years.

“So, the bulk of my career in the military. When I went back into the military, I wanted to become something of significance, someone.”

Huelsbeck has been involved in the military for 48 years, including today where he is the president at Vets & Friends in Appleton. He says the volunteer work that he does today is to honor his father, who served under General Patton in WWII.

“My Dad really did speak well of his military service. He didn’t speak often of it, but he did speak well of it. And I just saw in him that it was important for him. So, he was a great proponent of serving the country.”

And now, Huelsbeck finds his own way to continue to serve.

“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t say, ‘Jeez, I’m glad I am where I am and I’m doing what I’m doing,’ and it’s all because I made a decision. But I’m really happy to be able to serve, serving others who served. That’s kind of the moniker that I want to have at some point in my life.”

Have someone you’d like to nominate for Hometown Hero? Let us know below!

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