Private First Class Marvin Robert "Bobby" Owen

Private First Class Marvin Robert "Bobby" Owen

United States Army Military Police Corps, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, August 19, 1978

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Marvin Robert "Bobby" Owen

Private First Class Marvin Owen was killed during a flood while attempting to rescue a family on an access road to the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The family was stranded on a bridge and as PFC Owen attempted to rescue them they were struck by a 12-foot high wall of water, which washed them off of the bridge.

Owen was posthumously awarded the Soldiers Medal of Valor, and the road was later renamed Owen Road.

PFC Owen had served with the United States Army Military Police Corps for two years.


  • Age 19
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Weather/Natural disaster
  • Location New Mexico

Most Recent Reflection

View all 31 Reflections

Though I did not know him, one of my first duties on WSMR as an E-1 Private Military Policeman (1983-1985) was to stand guard on Owen's Gate. I was facing in the direction of the flood zone in which he made the ultimate sacrifice for others in need, as my senior partner relayed the story of SPC Owens speeding towards danger to save a family in need. I remember thinking that if or when the time comes to test me, that I too would be as brave. SPC Owen's story was an inspiration that influenced the rest of my MP career.

SGT R. Sprayberry
259th Military Police Co./ 259th Detective Agency (Texas)

September 22, 2021

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