Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Ernest E. Gallego. Ernest served from 1943 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1953, during both World War II and the Korean War.

In a 2005 interview with the Veteran’s History Project, Ernest discussed his life and military career. He was born in 1925 in East Los Angeles, the fourth of six brothers who all served in the military. Immediately following his high school graduation in 1943, Ernest enlisted in the Army, wanting to serve before the end of World War II. At the end of the year, he entered the Army Air Forces.

After completing basic training at Buckley Field outside of Denver and Gunnery School in Kingman, Arizona, Ernest became a ball turret gunner. He was assigned to his first unit in 1944 and went from Hampton Roads, Virginia to Italy in October. They landed in the small town of Foggia, where they lived in tents for a year. Ernest flew 50 missions from Italy and attained the rank of staff sergeant before returning to the United States in August 1945.

Ernest returned to Los Angeles and worked briefly in a hot water heater plant before attending Woodbury College. He graduated with honors and earned a degree in foreign trade. He worked as an export documentation manager during the Korean War, helping to ship supplies to Korea.

Ernest joined the Transportation Corps at Fort Mason in San Francisco and served again in the Army from 1951 to 1953, this time in Korea as an adjutant for a battalion. Following his service in Korea, Ernest married his wife Ester, with whom he had three children. He again worked as an export manager and began attending night classes as a part time law student and in the mid-1960s started a new career as an attorney.

Thank you for your service, Ernest!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at

Graphic By Kierra Willis: Kierra Willis is a Graphic Communication Major at the University of Maryland University College. She currently has an AAS in Graphic Design and Visual Communications.

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Published on Jul. 11, 2018

Estimated reading time is 2.4 min.

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