Fallen Warrior: Pvt. Martin August Treptow

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kristina Dean
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Army Private Martin August Treptow, Company M, 168th Infantry, 84th Brigade, 42nd Division, was working as a barber in Eagle Point, Wisconsin when he enlisted in the Army on 15 July 1917.
Treptow was serving on the Western Front during World War I when he volunteered to deliver an important message to one of his company’s platoons. Due to heavy machine gun fire, he never made it to the other platoon’s leader to deliver the message.
After Treptow’s body was recovered, his diary was found in his shirt pocket with a letter that read: America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.
Even after death, Treptow continued to inspire others. His quote, later known as My Pledge, was used on posters and pamphlets in support of World War I.
Treptow was honored by Former President Ronald Regan in his Inaugural Speech in 1981. American Legion Post Number 295 in Wisconsin was named after Treptow in 1920.  

Editor's note: The Fallen Warrior series highlights Fallen Warriors who exemplify our core values and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Take a moment to honor this week’s hero.