WDVA Wisconsin Woman of the Year Award
Created in 2009, the WDVA's Woman Veteran of the Year Award recognizes women veterans in Wisconsin who have compiled records of exemplary service as military service members, veterans, and as outstanding members of their communities.
2019 Woman Veteran of the Year – Gundel "Gundy" Metz
U.S. Army veteran Gundel “Gundy" Metz was named its 2019 Woman Veteran of the Year.
Metz, a Madison resident, served on active duty in the Army for two decades (1975-1995), receiving numerous decorations, certificates, and accolades for her military service. Upon Metz's retirement from the Army, she shifted toward a career in serving veterans in her community.
“Gundy's commitment to service, even after wearing the uniform, serves as an example of the person we should strive to be," WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar said. “Gundy's tireless work on behalf of veterans and her strong leadership ability has helped our state in our mission of better serving veterans and their families. Her guidance and advocacy have paved the way not only for women veterans, but all those who bravely wore the uniform."
While serving as the WDVA's Women Veterans Coordinator (2006-2011), Metz advocated on behalf of Wisconsin's women veterans population while also making it her personal mission to track down veterans' military records. She is also credited with leading initiatives to assist homeless and incarcerated veterans, and also creating a fundraising effort known as “Operation Ruck 22" to raise awareness and help curb veteran suicides.
Most recently, Metz was elected to serve as the State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Wisconsin, leading 263 posts across the state and representing more than 28,000 members. She was responsible for organizing and sending a delegation of veterans to Washington D.C. to advocate for legislation that has had positive, long-lasting results for Wisconsin veterans and their families.
“My personal mission has been to continue helping and serving veterans and their families to the best of my ability," Metz said. “I've enjoyed leading by example so that other women in the military — and those in the veterans' community — can exceed the things I've accomplished."
Metz was formally presented the award by Gov. Tony Evers and Secretary Kolar during a ceremony Thursday evening at Gov. Evers' Executive Residence in Madison.
2018: Kim Graff of Milton, United States Marine Corps
2017: Connie Walker of Madison, United States Navy
2016: Cindy Brosig of Sun Prairie, United States Air Force
2015: Denise Rohan of Verona, United States Army
2014: Jennifer Sluga of Waunakee, United State Army
2012: Nancy Kaczor of Franklin, United States Air Force
2011: Holly Hoppe of Oconto, United States Air Force
2010: Jessica Maple of Mosinee, United States Air Force
2009: Connie Allord of Madison, United States Marine Corps