1st Lieutenant John Frederick Voge, son of recent Austrian immigrants Johann and Marie (Dauck) Voge, was born 11 April 1879 in Black Creek, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, and lived his entire life in the neighboring town of Appleton, Wisconsin.
Before enlisting in the war effort, John worked as a clerk, cashier and auditor for the local power company in Appleton called the Wisconsin Traction, Light, Heat and Power Company. When he was 36 years old his father passed away and John was left to care for his mother Marie and sister Emma, a school teacher. On 07 July 1915, John received orders to report for duty at the annual summer camp of the Wisconsin National Guard. On 15 July 1917, the Wisconsin National Guard was ordered into Federal Service by President Wilson and on the 04 December, at the age of 38, John accepted a commission as 2LT, Company I, 127th Infantry, 32nd Division. John was wounded in action and received a Purple Heart along with a promotion to First Lieutenant. On 06 June 1919, 1LT Voge was awarded his Purple Heart and honorably discharged.
After the war, John returned to Appleton, continued to work for the Wisconsin Traction, Light, Heat and Power Company until he retired in 1951 at the age of 72. He passed away six years later on 02 August 1957. He is buried with other family members in Riverside Cemetery, Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin.
His Wound Certificate and presentation Purple Heart were presented to his niece, Karen Feit. We were happy to learn that the family has his original issued Purple Heart.
The return was conducted at halftime of the Minnesota Vikings game as a part of their Military Appreciation Game.
Returning the medal was Valor Guard members Mr. Michael Brennan and founder, Zachariah Fike.