St. Paul's American Legion Post 145

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

I got a call from Kelly Golden at 93.5 fm about a veteran, who we will call JD, who had reached out to Kelly on Military Monday where veterans are honored and stories are told.
It seems that JD lost a good buddy of his to suicide resulting from PTSD and the Covid crisis.  JD was depressed and Kelly asked me to reach out to him to help him connect with other veterans through the American Legion.
I called JD and found out that his friend, Michael Loetz Jr.,SFC,173rd Infantry Ahfganistan and 82nd Airborn was a highly decorated war hero with at least 3 bronze stars to his record and many more commendations.   I contacted his spouse, Jeff Mitchell, to get more information.  The call, it appears, triggered a chain of events, including a memoriam ceremony with his friends and family in Oneida, NY where he had started a restaurant business.  SFC Loetz was raised here in S.C. and most of his family still resides here.
Come November, Kelly Golden will be commemorating SFC Loetz’s service so that his family and friends can honor him.

                                                                                  OBITUARY

CANASTOTA- Michael L. Loetz Jr., 51, of Jaquin Road, lost his battle with PTSD, after many years of suffering, on May 14, 2021.Born in North Charleston, South Carolina on February 1, 1970, Michael was the son of Michael L. and Dorothy Burbage Loetz Sr. A resident of Canastota since 2012, after retiring from the United States Army, Michael was a graduate of R. B. Stall High School in South Carolina. He married his partner of twenty-two years,
Jeffrey Mitchell, in Canastota on December 21, 2016.Michael proudly served with the United States Army for twenty-four years before retiring. Michael was a combat veteran with the 173rd Brigade and the 82nd Airborne Division, serving four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned three bronze stars and one silver star. Michael was tasked with running supplies and servicing the outposts with ammunition, fuel and food and was ambushed twice in his Humvee and hit with an IED. After the incident, an intense gun fight ensued.He was a happy-go-lucky person who was always the life of the party. Michael cared deeply for his family and friends and his military brothers. He loved his lake house that he built with his husband and their home in Mexico. Michael enjoyed traveling and trying new and exotic foods with his chef husband. At his home, Michael enjoyed gardening and took great care of his 􀃩owers, especially his hydrangeas.He was a member of the Canastota American Legion, Post 140 and the Order of the Owls, Oneida Nest 1606. Michael was of the Baptist faith.Surviving besides his husband Jeffrey is his father, Michael L. (LaDonna) Loetz Sr. of Colesburg, IA; sisters, Sherry Zimmerman of North Charleston, SC and Tammy (Gene) Lewis of Moncks Corner, SC; brothers, Tony Shelton of North Charleston, SC and Glen Shelton of FL; mother-in-law, Jeanne (Prescott Blucher) Mitchell of Canastota; father-in-law, with whom he was inseparable, Donald Mitchell Sr. of Canastota; numerous nieces and nephews; several cousins and his faithful and beloved canine companion and service dog, Lucy. He was predeceased by a brother, Jerry Shelton.

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