Volunteer Profile

Meet Orville Westphal
By: 

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent


Photo by Carol Wagner Orville Westphal is a driver for the Shawano County Disabled American Veterans. The trips are scheduled through the Shawano County Veterans Service Office.

Orville Westphal is a driver for the Shawano County Disabled American Veterans.

The trips are scheduled through the Shawano County Veterans Service Office. Westphal was born and raised in Shawano County, graduating from Shawano High School. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for a year and a half before being drafted into the U.S. Army. After service, he earned a degree in accounting from UW-Oshkosh. Westphal worked in Appleton in the office at Allis Chalmers. He and his wife of 50 years, Judy, moved to Shawano in 1991 and he commuted to Green Bay for 25 years where he was a rural mail carrier for the post office. He retired in 2012.

The couple has two sons and six granddaughters. Westphal plays softball in the summer and basketball in the winter. They like to travel and visit the national parks. They both also help at St. John’s Hermansfort Church. He also volunteered for the building trades class at the high school.

Q Where do you volunteer?

A “I drive the Disabled American Veterans van.”

Q What was your service?

A “The United States Army. I am a combat veteran with the 101st Airborne Infantry. I was drafted for two years and served in Vietnam.”

Q How often do you drive?

A “Once a week on Tuesday to Milwaukee. I have driven to Appleton and Green Bay, but mostly the Milwaukee trip. We normally meet at Home Plate in Shawano and sometimes make a stop in Clintonville and New London. The earliest appointment is 9 a.m. and the we have to leave by 6 a.m. It depends on the appointments. Sometimes I spend 12 hours at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.”

Q What do you do when you are there that long?

A “It is 150 years old. There are 10 stories. Sometimes I don’t do much. They have a library there where I can read magazines or newspapers. It’s close to Miller Park so in the summer I walk around it.”

Q Why do you volunteer?

A “A lot of veterans are less fortunate than I am. I can give something back. If it wasn’t for the DAV they wouldn’t be able to get to there appointments.”