Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Pro Deo et Patria"

I have many veterans in my family tree but few photos of them, and even fewer photos of them in their military uniforms.  This is one of the few I do have:

Gideon G. Berger (center) with mother and sister
Likely at the family home of  536 E. 21st St., Oakland
circa 1918
My great-grandfather, Gideon Gottlieb Berger, was a 1st Lt. in the Army Chaplain Corps during World War I.  He was stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco not far from his family and hometown of Oakland.  The Presidio, which predates the US, was a major center for recruitment, training and deployment during the war.

Before the war Gideon was working at Camp Fremont.  Built in 1917, Camp Fremont trained National Guard troops for combat in case the US went to war.  Located in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area, Camp Fremont was closed after the war ended.  The Presidio continued to serve as a vital military base until 1994 when it was transferred to the National Park Service.  Gideon's father was a veteran of the Civil War, and his sons would be veterans of World War II.

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