Latest News – November 11

Leadville Veteran News About Edgar L. McWethy

Most people living in Leadville today take McWethy Drive at least once a week, if not daily, if you have school-aged children. But very few know about the veteran hero that bears its name: Edgar L. McWethy. In honor of Veterans Day Leadville Today brings you his story and some exciting news about this honorable Lake County life-saver.

Edgar McWethy

Leadville Hero: Veteran Edgar McWethy

McWethy is a native son of Leadville, born and raised in America’s highest city.

“I was a friend of the McWethy family in Leadville,” recalled former Leadville resident MaryJane Garner-Bish in an exclusive interview with Leadville Today. She remembers Ed (Jr.) as a shy teen, active in the Boy Scouts with his mom “Mike” as a Scout leader. After his graduation from Laek County High School, McWethy enrolled in the U. S. Army. According to Bish, Mcwethy served as a Medic in the Vietnam War. He had been in-country less than a year when he was killed in action  treating other wounded soldiers during a fire fight.

In 1963 the graduating LCHS class erected the Lake County Veterans Memorial in his honor when they contributed the granite monument for their classmate. After his death on June 21, 1967, McWethy received the Congressional Medal of Honor for acts of bravery above and beyond the call to duty in the Vietnam War. Eventually the street that now bears his name – McWethy Drive – was re-dedicated however no one seems to know the exact date when this occurred. It’s believed to be around the same time that the Veterans Memorial was established.

Members of the Leadville Elks Lodge John Christiansan (left) and Derek Olsen (right) lay a wreath at the Lake County Veterans Memorial granite marker bearing Edgar McWethy's name. The stone was gifted from McWethy's schoolmates from the Lake County High School Class of 1967 in honor of his heroic acts during the Vietnam War. Photo: Leadville Today.

Members of the Leadville Elks Lodge John Christiansan (left) and Derek Olsen (right) lay a wreath at the Lake County Veterans Memorial granite marker bearing Edgar McWethy’s name. The stone was gifted from McWethy’s schoolmates from the Lake County High School Class of 1967 in honor of his heroic acts during the Vietnam War. Photo: Leadville Today.

The McWethy family eventually moved to Kansas, where McWethy is buried near his mother and father, Martha (“Mike”) and Edgar McWethy Sr. Any remaining McWethy family is believed to live in the Baxter Springs, Kan. area.

Leadville Today recently received an exclusive news lead regarding an upcoming additional honor for this special Leadville veteran. Next June 2017 there will be a re-dedication of the McWethy Troop Medical Clinic (TMC) located at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)/Fort Sam located in Houston, Texas which already bears McWethy’s name.   

The original dedication of the McWethy clinic in 1983: (from left) Curtis Aberle, McWethy Troop Medical Clinic chief; Brig. Gen. Barbara Holcomb, commander of Southern Regional Medical Command; Col. Carol Rymer, Optometry Service chief; and Col. Evan Renz, Brooke Army Medical Center commander, cut the ribbon officially reopening McWethy Troop Medical Clinic Jan. 6 after a 16-month, $13 million renovation. Photo by Robert Shields (Photo by Robert Shields )

The original dedication of the McWethy clinic in 1983: (from left) Curtis Aberle, McWethy Troop Medical Clinic chief; Brig. Gen. Barbara Holcomb, commander of Southern Regional Medical Command; Col. Carol Rymer, Optometry Service chief; and Col. Evan Renz, Brooke Army Medical Center commander, cut the ribbon officially reopening McWethy Troop Medical Clinic Jan. 6 after a 16-month, $13 million renovation. Photo by Robert Shields (Photo by Robert Shields )

The McWethy (TMC) provides primary health care to all soldiers in training, as well as soldiers assigned to Fort Jackson on temporary duty status. The Texas McWethy Clinic was originally dedicated in July 1983, and has since provided medical care to tens of thousands of military personnel, including more than 7,500 active duty service members training at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. 

In January 2015 the clinic re-opened after a 16-month, $13 million renovation. Next June, the facility will be officially re-dedicated in McWethy’s honor! As more details of the re-dedication ceremony come in, Leadville Today will share them with readers so that those in the Houston area may consider attending the event next June 1017. Until then, find your own way to honor this special Lake County Veteran whether it’s taking a visit to the Lake County Veterans Memorial or just making note to the kiddos while taking that daily down McWethy Drive.

Happy Veterans Day, be sure to honor the dedicated men and women who sacrifice for all the freedoms Americans enjoy today!

All Rights Reserved © Leadville Today

A Colorado State Patrol Officer does his part in lifting up Old Glory durign the 2014 Memorial Day services in Leadville.

A Colorado State Patrol Officer does his part in lifting up Old Glory during the 2014 Memorial Day services at the Lake County Veterans Memorial in Leadville.

Comments are closed.