Throughout her 23 years in service to our nation, Herta Weber developed a love and appreciation for those who sacrifice while serving in uniform.
An immigrant from Germany, her military career included enlistment in the Army as well as commissions in both the Army and the Navy. Her service included work as a physical therapist, which showed her firsthand that overcoming physical challenges can be a grueling process.
“Many veterans that I worked with during my career were disabled, and they hold a special place in my heart,” she said.
Getting to the point where she could see this sacrifice wasn’t easy for Weber. Her family fled Germany at the outbreak of World War II and sought refuge in Asia. Her formative years were spent mostly in India. As a teenager, Weber attended schools in Europe, graduating from high school in England.
At the age of 21, she immigrated to the United States and enlisted in the Army. After three years of honorable service, she became a U.S. citizen.
“Since I had no country to call my home, America with its vastness and its many populations—from many cultures—seemed a fascinating place to live.”
Upon completion of her training as a laboratory technician at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, she was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco. While there, she completed a Bachelor of Science and applied to the Army Officer Physical Therapy Program. Weber was sworn in as a second lieutenant and received orders to Fort Carson, Colorado. After serving there and later at the U.S Public Health Commissioned Corps in Norfolk, Virginia, Weber received a grant from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to obtain her master’s degree in public health administration.
Weber then reentered the military, this time joining the U.S. Navy, just as the Vietnam War was heating up. She was stationed at U.S. Naval Hospital Portsmouth, Virginia, followed by a two-year tour at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan. She returned to the states, serving at U.S. Naval Hospital Quantico, Virginia, and from there at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Her final duty station before retirement was U.S. Naval Hospital Long Beach, California.
After a lengthy, multiservice career serving across the globe, Weber settled into the next phase of her life—but she didn’t forget the organization that helped her make the leap to civilian life.
“As a 35-year member of DAV, I have included a gift to DAV in my estate plans,” said Weber. “I am forever grateful to the military for giving me a home; an education; and, last but not least, a wonderful career.
“This gift is a small measure of my gratitude.”