Robert Gehrig was born in 1929 in Oxnard, California. His inspiration to join the Navy stemmed from living close to Navy bases in California. After enlisting in the Navy, he completed basic training and was assigned to Alameda Naval Air Station, then sent to Hawaii as a duty driver for a captain. During his duty, Gehrig persistently asked that the captain send him to radioman school in Alameda and his request was finally fulfilled.
During his service, Gehrig completed 1100 hours of total flight time conducting trans-Pacific and local flights. His duty as a radioman onboard an airplane was to sit facing the tail with an altimeter and let the pilot know whether he was flying too low.
On Aug. 25, 1954, Gehrig was discharged from the Navy, then immediately enrolled at Sacramento Junior College, where he completed a degree in education. He went on to teach at the San Juan Unified School District. After teaching for a few years, he was accepted to Loma Linda University and completed a degree in physical therapy. Gehrig then opened his own practice next to the American River Hospital, where he worked for 18 years before joining another practice.
Thank you for your service, Robert!
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic designer: Emma Catlett
Editor: Vincent Tran