Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Private First Class Robert J. McKenna

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

End of Watch Tuesday, February 22, 1966

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Reflections for Private First Class Robert J. McKenna

May you be Resting in Peace, young MP. I was there in A-10-4 Feb 1966 just about to graduate from the MP School and preparing for Vietnam.. A fellow barracks mate and I went to Vietnam and he was KIA April1, 1966 his first night on duty with the 716th. Pat Brems, the MP barracks were named for him.
Having retired from 41 years in law enforcement some of my best memories are of my time in the MP Corps.
Condolences to the McKenna family.

SP5 Daryl Achenbach
41 year law enforcement career

February 9, 2023

I was 4 weeks into AIT at Ft. Gordon when Martin Luther King was assinated, we were sent to Augusta Ga. for riot control, is there anyone out there that was with us at that time?

Shy George V Henderson

September 16, 2021

I was in the 140th at Ft. Gordon with Bobby. I remember well the night he was murdered. When the news reached the barracks, many wanted to go to the arms room to draw weapons and go look for his killers. Fortunately, SGT Long and SGT Blanco prevented us from doing anything rash. I had orders for Vietnam, and if memory serves correctly, that night was scheduled to be Bobby's last shift as he also had orders for Vietnam. Bobby was a good soldier and a good MP. It was always a pleasure to be partnered up with him. I was glad to hear the gate was named for him and am glad it still bears his name after all these years.

PVT Thomas D. McAdam
140th MP Company

August 8, 2021

I, along with many others, did a shift at McKenna Gate during the OJT phase of our MP training in May 1972. I was very watchful...and awed by his devotion to duty and sudden sacrifice.

MSG (ret) Edward Fallon
Senior Instructor 2/80th MP (Tng)

July 17, 2021

Rest in peace Private 1st Class McKenna.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

October 12, 2020

I was brand new and only on my 3rd day of active patrol. I wasn't on the same squad as Bob so I was in my bunk when other MP's came in and woke everyone. It was just before dawn. I remember that Sgt. Sink (?) was very upset at Guard Mount that morning as was everyone else. My time at the 140th MPC was very short and I transferred out shortly (high demand for MP's all over the world) after this happened but just before I left I went out to the gate to stand a last watch for I guy I barely knew who I wish I had known better. RIP brother..

SP4 Robert Wallace
140th MPC (Ft Gordon) & 110th MPC (Kelly Barracks, FRG)

September 4, 2020

I remember that night on February 22, 1966. I was an MP on duty with Pfc. McKenna as we were both assigned to the same relief. There were only about seven or eight of us on that relief because of the buildup of the forces
in Vietnam. McKenna was on duty at what was then Gate 1 and I was at Gate 3, up the Gordon Hwy. I was shipped out in Sept 1966 and did not know until today that the two tried with the murder of Pfc. McKenna
received a life sentence and the other, 25 years. We who served alongside Pfc. Robert McKenna at Ft. Gordon
know that the decision to rename Gate 1 to McKenna Gate was a well deserved and honorable act for this
young soldier. Rest in peace Bob and know that your sacriface is not forgotten.

David Beasley
Dept. of Homeland Security, Retired 2005

August 5, 2020

I served as a MP DESK SGT at Fort Gordon PMO..from JUNE 1976 to April 1977..I recall standing gate at McKenna gate...and felt honored to do so..PFC McKenna did his duty as a good soldier and paid the ultimate sacrifice...may God always be with him.

SGT Richard Heintz
Retired Officer Seattle Police Department

December 12, 2019

Bobby bunked next to me at Fort Gordon. We both had orders for Viet Nam and we're just a couple of days short of going on leave prior to heading overseas. We were partners on patrol several times and he was a good man to spend a shift with.

Pvt. E-2 Tom McAdam
140th MP Company, Arvada Fire Protection District, Retired

March 6, 2019

I served as a Drill Sgt at A-13-4 from Feb 70-March 71. Pushing troops in AIT, especially MPs, was a rewarding experience. 1SG Dehart was my 1SG. SFC Branson, SGT Deifenbach and others, I always wondered what happened to these guys. Served my duty at McKenna Gate. I got in the Reserves and served another 28 years retired as a Colonel. Never regretted a minute of my service time.

Colonel Larry Abel
A-13-4 ?

December 19, 2018

I was a drill sgt in the MP school at ft Gordon 67-68 and did a couple nights duty on McKenna Gate.

cpl E-4

June 11, 2018

I was stationed at Ft. Gordon and a member of the 140th MP Company from 1964-1966. Robert was one of the nicest people you could ever meet.
He was on the 3p to 11p shift that day and I can remember talking to him about the orders he had received to go to Vietnam.
I went to the funeral in Long Island and met his family.
It is 51 years ago but it seems like yesterday.
It was an honor to have known him and God Bless his Soul.

Thomas FX Magura E4
!40th MP Company !964-66

May 1, 2017

My sympathies to the family and fellow soldiers of PFC McKenna. May he rest in peace.

SFC William Farrell
US Army MP, Ret

April 26, 2017







March 18, 2016

Did my AIT there Jan-Feb 1973. They never mentioned this story
even once....that is a shame!

Bryan Piercy
National Park Service (ret)

February 23, 2016

Went to MP School Ft Gordon Feb-Apr 1971 and looking for anyone else.

Dan OConnor

January 24, 2016

I also remember hearing the story when I went through USAMPS.

Sgt. Robert E. White, Jr.
US Army, Military Police Corps.

October 23, 2015

I also remember hearing the story of PFC McKenna when I went through MP School at Fort Gordon in 1971. After MP School I went to Fort Shafter Hawaii, to the 524th MP Company.

Spec 4 Walter Palmer
Military Veteran, 624th MP Company

December 21, 2014

I went through MP school at Fort Gordon Georgia in October of 1967 through December of 1967. We were told the story of Robert Mckenna over and over and to remember his sacrifice at Gordon. There wasnt a time that I didnt remember him when I pulled some one over or entered a building to check it. I went to Fort Campbell to serve then to the 533rd Military Police in Zweibrucken Germany. I always told his story and reminded our MP's about his story. May God hold him in heaven. Rest in Peace. JE Pena Laredo, Texas

Jose E. Pena, SGT.533rd mp 67-70
school teacher/coach laredo, texas

December 8, 2013

Thank you for your service and for helping to make America a safer place.

Deputy Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff's Office, CO

December 15, 2012

RIP PFC, thank you for your service Sir

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

February 22, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 46th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminsihe respect and your memory will always be honored and revered. I pray for solace for all those who love and remember you. Your family is in my heart's embrace today. I thank your family and friends for sharing their memories and devotion through their reflections.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

February 22, 2012

Remembering PFC McKenna on this 45th anniversary of his sacrifice for our country, state and citizens of Fort Gordon and Augusta.


February 22, 2011

Your name lives on. I attended MP School at Ft Gordon on the 12th of July 1966. Assigned to Company A,10th Battalion, 4th Training Brigade. Your name and service was revered during our training. We looked forward to working McKenna Gate in your honor.God Bless you and your family. An Ex-MP brother.

Sp4 W.E. Tommy Thompson
Ret.Dep.Douglas County Sheriff Off

July 13, 2009

The funeral line was long, There's an awful lot of cars, Folks came out of the restaurants, They came out of the bars.
The workers at the construction sites All let their hammers drop. Someone asked. "What is this all for?" And they said, "Aw, just a cop."
Some chuckled at the passing cars. Some shed a silent tear Some people said, "It's stupid," "all these dumb policemen here."
"How come they are not out fighting crime?" "Or in a doughnut shop?" Sure is a lot of trouble, For someone who's just a cop."
They blocked the intersections, They blocked the interstate. People yelled and cursed, "Damn, it's gonna make me late!"
"This is really ridiculous!" "They're makin' us all stop!" "It seems they are sure wastin' time, On someone who's just a cop."
Into the cemetery now, The slow procession comes, The woeful Taps are slowly played. There's loud salutes from guns.
The graveyard workers shake their heads "This service is a flop." "There's lots of good words wasted, On someone who's just a cop"
Yeah, just a cop to most folks. Did his duty every day. Trying to protect us, Till they took his life away.
And when he got to heaven, St. Peter put him at the top. An angel asked him, "Who was that?" And he said, "Aw, just a cop."
His Judgment Day:
The officer stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shinning, Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, Officer, How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek To my church have you been true?"
The officer squared his shoulder and said, "No, Lord, I guess I aint, Because those of us who carry badges can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, And at times my talk was rough, And sometimes I've been violent Because the streets are tough.
But I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep.. Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help Though at times I shook with fear. And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept an unmanly tear.
I know I don't deserve a place among the people here. They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand. I never expected or had too much, But if you don't...I'll understand.
There was silence all around the throne, where the saints often trod. As the officer waited quietly for the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, Officer. You've borne your burdens well. Come walk a beat on heaven's streets, You've done your time in hell"

May God be with everyone!!!!!!!!!

Motor officer Terry Pauley
Plano PD Plano, Tx

March 28, 2009

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