Keith Robinson grew up in multiple cities in Ohio and New Hampshire. His father served in the Air Force for 27 years, while his mother volunteered for 30 years as a nurse at the American Red Cross. Keith and his brother always remembered their parents saying, “The most important lesson in life is…integrity first, service before self, and bring excellence in everything you do.”
At the age of 18, Keith graduated from Portsmouth High School and joined the U.S. Marines to learn honor, courage and commitment to his country. He served 10 years in the Corps including two tours in Lebanon, becoming skilled in telecommunications as a Satellite Communications Operator. Keith competed as a shot putter in the Marine Corps Track Team and was one of the top 30 shot putters in the nation with a record of 65 feet.
After leaving the Marines, Mr. Robinson followed in his mother’s footsteps to pursue a career in nursing. He attended Long Beach California College to obtain his LPN degree and began working as a nurse at Memorial Care Long Beach Medical Center. After two years, he decided to transfer to the University of Utah Hospital, where he worked with Dr. Randal Young for the next 20 years.
After retiring, Keith finally decided to have a knee replacement due to damage from all his years of track and field. The surgery went well, but in a matter of months he developed gangrene in his knee, requiring amputation of his leg.
Despite losing his leg, Keith has an upbeat personality. He volunteers two days a week at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City and plans to compete in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. He is training hard with weights and an elliptical bike to prepare him for the Kentucky competition in July 2019.
Keith trusts UTA to take him where he needs to go. “I rely heavily on FrontRunner, TRAX and Bus to get me to the hospital, gym, track competitions or home. I have been riding from Roy to North Temple for many years now. The hosts are extremely nice and help me get to and from the train. I always like helping train hosts anytime I get the chance. I remember one time an angry rider started yelling at one of the hosts, so I put my wheelchair between them to diffuse the situation and kindly asked the rider to leave the train. Bill, the train host, was extremely grateful for my help.”
When Keith isn’t being a hero, he enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Julianne, their five kids, and two grandchildren.