Have you ever played at George E. Wahlen Park and wondered how it got it’s name? On May 30, 1989, this park was named after a local WWII hero, George E. Wahlen. George said that receiving the Medal of Honor and being called a war hero was quite by accident. While in his medic training in the Navy he found that the site of blood made him extremely ill. He requested to be transferred to another school.
The Commander said if he did well he would transfer him to another school. George worked hard and was fourth in his class. After doing so well his commander couldn’t let him go, so he was stuck as a medic. From there George requested that he be sent into combat to avoid working in a hospital.
He landed with his unit on Iwo Jima February 19, 1945 and was seriously wounded by an enemy grenade on February 26. Refusing to evacuate he continued helping men out on the battlefield. On March 2 he was wounded a second time in the back and refused to leave again. He continued to aid more Marines until he was shot in his leg on March 3 and was unable to walk. Even after he was shot in his leg he crawled his way for 50 yards and attended to one more wounded Marine before leaving. He was sent to Guam, Hawaii and then California and it took him nine months to recover from his injuries.
He was a hard worker and kept motivated by the men he served. They were counting on him. He felt like he didn’t have a choice but to work hard and help. What a great example of love and dedication! He overcame his fear of blood and worked through it helping lots of men along the way.
He was honorably discharged from the Navy on December 19, 1945. In 1948 he was re-enlisted to the United States Army as a medical technician, he became an officer and served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He retired from the army in 1968 with the rank of Major after being wounded and awarded a Purple Heart. Next time you have a chance to visit George E. Wahlen Park, you will know why this honorable man has a park named after him.