Ron Wurzer photo
A TRUE PATRIOT, Herb M. Bridge, ’47, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (retired), is the first recipient of the UW’s Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award. On Veterans Day, he spoke on the UW Seattle campus about the impact of the military on his values.
In addition to his naval service, public service and philanthropy are at the core of Bridge’s life. He founded the Seattle Housing Resources Group that builds low-cost housing, and has served on many boards including the Naval Academy Foundation and the USO Puget Sound Area. He and his son Jon, ’72, ’76, are former co-chairs of the United Way campaign of King County.
For Bridge, the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, launched 43 years of dedicated service in the U.S. Navy. A decorated officer, Bridge joined the Navy at 17 and saw action in the Pacific Theater during World War II and also during the Korean conflict.
During World War II, Bridge served in the Pacific on a destroyer escort. Immediately after the war, he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve and was called up during the Korean War. He served as close air support, directing planes to assist combat troops fighting on the ground.
He continued in the Navy Reserve, teaching what he had learned to new recruits. Bridge received two Legion of Merit awards and the Naval Unit Commendation.—Julie Garner