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He's still 'gung-ho' about Corps at 96

 Everett Grob, 96, visits the grave of his wife, Helen, with his dog, Skeeter. The couple were married for 73 years. Since her death, he has drawn on the inner strength he learned in the Corps, which taught him to keep moving.
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Date published: 11/23/2012


Everett Grob last served in the military 59 years ago, but the values the Marines Corps instilled have stuck with him every day of his life.

In recent months, the 96-year-old has had to draw on the principles of courage and inner strength more than ever before.

Grob was married to his wife, Helen, for 73 years. They grew up in the Pelham Bay section of New York City and had known each other since she was 8 and he was 9.

When she died in June, Grob had to figure out a way to deal with the gigantic hole in his life. He coped the same way he dealt with life-and-death battles of World War II.

"Being a Marine has kept me moving, not wanting to give in," he said.

Grob lives in Spotsylvania County and lives a regimented routine--even though he hasn't been in service since 1953. He's up at the same time every day, always makes his bed and never leaves the house without a crease in his pants and a shine on his shoes.

Every day, he visits Helen's grave at Sunset Memorial Gardens. With their dog, Skeeter, at his side, he talks about the weather and chores he's done around the house.

Grob also regularly visits Woodmont Healthcare Center, where Helen spent the last 14 months of her life. He wants the workers to know how grateful he is for their kindness and care.

"He's got an amazing story to tell, and he never complains about himself," said Helen Green, administrator of the Stafford County facility. "It's like he told me last week, 'Life, you just take it as it comes and if you get knocked down, you get up and keep going.'"


Grob's daughter, Arlene Schmidt of Springfield, said "miraculous things have happened since we lost Mom" that have helped her father keep going.

At the top of the list was meeting Ginny Vickers, a real estate agent, and her husband, Dave, who retired as a major after 20 years in the Marines.

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