Richard Gerbeth Jr
Richard Gerbeth Jr was born in the Bronx, NY, and raised in the suburbs of NYC. He was always very close with his paternal Grandfather who was a Medic in WWII, SSG Hellmuth Gerbeth. His Grandfather taught him to shoot, hunt, and fish at the age of ten.
Richard enlisted into the U.S. Navy at the age of seventeen with his parents blessings during the Persian Gulf War, but was honorably discharged after one year for medical reasons. After using the Montgomery GI Bill to attend Westchester Community College, he was hired by United Parcel Service. Part time initially, after five years he became a full time package delivery truck driver. During that time in April of 1999 he enlisted into the New York Army Reserve Natonal Guard, and volunteered for the Infantry. He was activated for state missions throughout New York during, and post September 11, 2001.
In October 2003, his Unit Alpha Company Task Force, 2nd Battalion-108th Infantry Regiment was mobilized, and attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was meritoriously promoted to Sergeant, and served as an E-5 Fire Team Leader. Five days before crossing the border from Kuwait into Iraq his third child Derek was born. He did not see him for five months. When he returned home he, and wife Jessica had another child Noelle. Richard has four children Garrett, Ann, Derek, and Noelle.
His individual decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for Valor, Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Infantrymen’s Badge.
After his release from active duty in April 2005, he returned to drill status for one year until he was medically retired from the U.S. Army April 2006. After his multiple attempts to return to work at UPS, he was unable to perform his duties due to Traumatic Brain Injuries, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He retired early from UPS, after an 18 year career.
Today Richard is dedicated to volunteering his time to improve the lives of others in any way he can. He has volunteered years ago with a therapy dog at his local Veterans Hospital. He is an assistant Scoutmaster. He volunteers within the prison systems through his church. He has always enjoyed the great outdoors, in all aspects, whether it be hunting, fishing, hiking, or camping. Richard is a die hard NY Yankees fan, and loves Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Richard’s dedication to the “Foundation For Exceptional Warriors” is so strong because he has experienced an amazing event first hand. Years after meeting, and befriending founder Ronny Sweger, he finally gave in to Ronny, and went on a deer hunt with other exceptional warriors. It was one of the most memorable experiences of his life, bonding with those warriors that long weekend.
Richard had resisted Ronnie’s attempts to persuade him in the past because of his survivor guilt telling him, “let the others go, you don’t deserve it.”. During his tour in Iraq his dear friend SPC Segun Akintade was killed in Action while under his Command. This haunted Richard to the point of hopelessness. It was not until he could accept the abundance of help available could he move forward. Today he is anxiously looking forward to offering other exceptional warriors the opportunity’s he was given by the foundation to aid in the recovery process with other warriors through adventure based outdoors programs, or in any other way he can be of service to help those who have sacrificed for our Nation, either through service in Special Operations Command, those decorated for Valorous acts , Purple Heart recipients, or former Prisoners of War. The FEW.