Stan Gerding

Dear Grandson: On Continuing Education and Retirement

(Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash)

In the final installment of his “Dear Grandson” column, Stan Gerding talks about graduating from college, retiring from the Navy, the several jobs he held after that, and officially retiring. 


Dear Grandson,

School was going good for both Bud and me. I was on track to get my bachelor’s degree in just less than two years. My tour at Bethesda was only for three years, but I was eligible to retire in two years, so there were decisions to be made.

Bud was doing well on the baseball team and had several scouts looking at him. His senior year, the team won the district and lost in the regionals. He made the All-Metro team. Bud and I sent out many letters to colleges and there was lots of interest in Bud. He was actively pursued by William & Mary, Old Dominion University, University of Maryland, Catholic University, VCU, and others, but he ended up choosing San Diego State University where he qualified for in-state residency due to my military service.

The head coach at San Diego State University was a fellow named Jim Dietz and one helluva coach. There were several of his players that made the big leagues and most notable was outfielder Tony Gwynn, 1st baseman Mark Grace, pitcher Bud Black, 1st baseman Travis Lee, and pitcher Aaron Harang, plus many, many more. Bud was ready to get college educated and play some ball.


I am officially ending the “Dear Grandson” letters and you will never have to feel that you didn’t know your grandfather.


I graduated from the University of Maryland in March 1990 and decided to retire from the Navy in April 1990. Several months before I was to retire, I was putting out resumes right and left and wasn’t having much luck.

One day, I was talking to a few of the pathologists. One asked me, “Have you found a job yet?”

I told him that I hadn’t.

He told me his uncle owned a hospital in southern Maryland and, if I wanted, he would contact him and tell him about me.

I said, “Heck yeah!”

I got an interview with this doctor and he hired me on the spot. He wanted me to be the Administrator for Professional Services and I would oversee all the ancillary services of the hospital and duties as assigned. He told me he would have me start in the middle of May.

Back at Bethesda, I was starting to get myself in the retirement mode and on April 30, 1990, I officially retired from the Navy in front of my mother, two of my brothers and their families, and of course Bud came in from San Diego to attend.

I did many things after the Navy: administrator of two hospitals; biology teacher for five years; administrator of two MRI centers; Accounts Receivable Manager at Good Samaritan Hospital Cincinnati; administrator of the Glenway Medical Center in Western Hills Cincinnati.

The final company that I worked for was DaVita Dialysis, up until the time I got prostate cancer.

As you can see, Grandson, I have given you a fast look of my career post-Navy. I have enjoyed sharing my life and its experiences with you from the earliest time that I remember until today.

I am officially ending the “Dear Grandson” letters and you will never have to feel that you didn’t know your grandfather. But I’m going to continue contributing articles to The Big Smoke, so you’ll gain some insights into how I think and feel about other topics.





Stan Gerding is the author of the book The Nam “Doc” A Navy Corpsman’s Story.


Stan Gerding

Stan Gerding is a retired veteran after 23 years in the Navy that included a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Corpsman, 1968-1969. He has since been the administrator of various healthcare organizations, a high school science teacher, an author, a singer, and is the father of Greg Gerding and grandfather to Jack.

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