Lutheran Military Support Group is a non-profit organization providing Christ-centered support to WELS/ELS military service members, veterans, and their families.

We honor our treasured soldiers and their service to our country by sharing their stories with you.

“I feel a deep devotion to this country. You can never truly feel how great this country is until you have missed it. It is the same feeling – that you cannot experience full joy until you have experienced full depression. Our country may take many courses, but it always seems to come through and always keeps on getting stronger and greater. The most vital things that pulled me through while I was a POW were my faith in God, my faith in my country, my faith in our President, and especially my faith in all the Americans back home. This faith has been justified. It is the support of all Americans that allowed us to return home with honor.”  

Colonel Donald L. Heiliger-January 16, 1937 – March 23, 2016

  • Colonel Donald L. Heiliger was a navigator and fighter pilot, flying the F-105 Thunderchief. In 1967, while piloting his 44th combat mission in the Vietnam War, he was shot down and spent five years and nine months as a Prisoner-of-War.
  • Radioman 3rd Class Bruce Opsahl served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Opsahl was sent on an 18-month, top-secret, Sino-American Cooperation Organization (SACO) operation in China beginning in early 1944.
  • Oswald Kaul served in the US Navy as a Seabee in World War II. The military took him to the Aleutian Islands and the invasion of Okinawa.
  • Merlin Heinecke served in the US Army during the Korean War. An MIA at the battle of the Chosin Reservoir.

    4 men standing in front of a chapel in Cam Ranh and the person on the far left is Chaplain Roland Ehlke, a WELS pastor who served as a civilian chaplain to the military in Vietnam in 1970.
  • Tour of Duty for the Lord, The experiences of WELS (civilian) Chaplains in Vietnam War, by Ron Siemers, 1988.
  • SFC Lucas. R Hendricks is recognized by the Military Services Committee of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) as a Distinctive Religious Group Leader (DRGL) and is authorized to carry out spiritual tasks under the guidance of the WELS National Civilian Chaplain to the Military.






Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13