Post office could bear Gerber's name - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Post office could bear Gerber's name

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - A son of Guam who dedicated his life to honoring the U.S. Marines, veterans and people of the island may soon be memorialized. The House is expected to vote on a measure that would rename the Barrigada Post Office after the late John Gerber.

In front of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo introduced H.R. 1843, which would designate the facility of the U.S. Postal Service in Barrigada as the "John Pangelinan Gerber Post Office Building" under the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Gerber, who passed away on May 4 last year, served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and dedicated his life to promoting the heritage of the Corps on Guam, having founded Guam's Pacific War Museum and lobbied the renaming of Marine Corps Drive.

KUAM News spoke with several of Gerber's family and friends regarding this honor. Gerber's nephew E.J. Calvo says the bill would be good news for one of Guam's local boys, saying, "I think it's an interesting situation because in my understanding there's not many post offices named after civilians who live in the local community and my Uncle John Gerber for anyone who knew him was involved in various aspects of the community and did a lot not only for his island but his country."

Having known john for over 20 years with being in Vietnam during the same period and reconnecting while on Guam, friend Lee Webber says John's focus was always on the USMC, which he would want noted on the post office. "I think the only thing that John would have you do is put a Marine Corps emblem up there," said Webber. "He would want you to have an eagle, globe and anchor somewhere around the building nears his name." He added, "From my perspective, he was never in anything for himself, he was always in it to promote Marine Corps, and history and document things and save stuff, never for John."

Webber says Gerber lived an exciting life and had a passion for everything he did involving the island. "I think in that sense, I think having John's name on the post office, it is fitting because a lot of people will walk in and remember John," Webber continued. "He was always marvelous alive and excited about everything he did, had tremendous energy and had a great passion for what he wanted to see happen on Guam and with the Marine Corp. and I think we're a lesser community for not having him with us."

Webber says many of John's friends and family want to see the things he believed in continue on Guam. Whether you're driving down Marine Corp Drive or visiting the Pacific War Museum in Maina, family and friends say renaming the U.S. Post Office building after Gerber will not only bring respect, but continue his legacy locally.

H.R. 1843 is currently on tomorrow's legislative agenda scheduled for a vote, once the national budget is discussed and voted on.

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