GERHARDT, ROBERT E
YEARS OF SERVICE: 1952-1954
Martin County Veterans Memorial www.mcvm.org
BRANCH OF SERVICE: Army
BIOGRAPHY: Robert was born on July 15, 1932, in Fairmont, Minnesota. He grew up on a rural farm, southwest of Fairmont, where he learned fast that the only thing you get out of life is what you put into it. In 11th grade he was offered an opportunity to help a neighboring farmer who was willing to pay enough to entice him to leave school and work to support his family and himself. After several years of farming, he took a job at the Welcome Creamery as a truck driver collecting milk from local farmers. Then on October 10, 1952, he was drafted into the Korean War through the Army Reserves and ultimately transferred into the Army Reserve in the Minnesota District. After being drafted , he said goodbye to family and friends and went to the United States Training Center in Ft. Knox, Kentucky. Ft. Knox was one of the premier training centers in the world with cutting edge technology which enhanced his training, readiness, and the nation's war fighting capabilities. After finishing basic training, he was given a 3 day pass to go home and see family and friends before taking a train ride to Seattle from Minneapolis. On his trip he saw some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Once arriving in Seattle, they were directed to get onto, let's say, not one of the biggest boats in the world, but big enough to barely handle to weather and conditions of the Pacific Ocean. In the end he did arrive safely in Korea but maybe a little seasick. While in Korea he served in two National Guard units. The last unit was known as Tank Company 9th Infantry Regiment, where his hard work and dedication to serve his country earned the following Commendations/Awards: 2 Bronze Service Stars, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He got out of the service with the rank of Sergeant of the 23rd Tank Division. After serving his term in Korea, he was reassigned to Ft. Carson, Colorado until October 9, 1954, when he was released from active duty and chose not to continue service in the Army reserve. He instead decided to go back home and begin his career as a farmer and family man in rural Welcome.