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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Bench, scholarship dedicated in memory of deceased Aggie Marine

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A bench and a scholarship were dedicated in memory of former commander of G-2 Kenny Robertson, Class of 1997. 

As former cadets and their families opened an event this past Saturday to honor their deceased brother, they uttered the words, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.”
The short ceremony dedicating a bench on the quad and a scholarship to Kenny Robertson, Class of 1997, was held at the same place where company G-2 used to gather, as current cadets lined the periphery of the sacred space.
Robertson was on campus when the school was expanding rapidly and the Corps of Cadets was going through its own changes. G-2, which Robertson commanded was disbanded at the end of spring 1997. According to Josh Horton, Robertson’s former roommate and Class of 1997, no one was more affected by the news than Robertson.
“It was actually pretty surprising,” Horton said. “Kenny was a great leader … That part sucked [for him].”
After graduating with a mechanical engineering degree, Robertson became a United States Marine Corps aviator, serving as a helicopter pilot for 10 years. During this time, Robertson met his wife, Angie Howell, and the two connected through their shared faith.
“When we moved to Arkansas, we ran a college Bible study in our home,” Howell said. “As a wife, to see your husband mentor and foster these young college kids … it’s such an honor to watch him raise them.”
In Arkansas, Robertson flew emergency evacuation helicopters. It was during this life-saving work that Robertson died in a helicopter crash in 2010. He was survived by his wife, sons Kale and Archie and daughter Abby. Kyle Graham, Class of 1997, said the G-2 buddies united to cope with the difficult loss.
“When we left A&M, we kind of scattered,” Graham said. “Then we kind of got hit by this helicopter crash and almost [the] whole group of buddies went to Arkansas for his funeral.”
As a testament to the bonds he made, Robertson’s buddies from the Corps committed themselves to helping his family after his death and maintaining an oral tradition of the man they knew — the man his children were too young to remember.
“I met most of them at the funeral,” Howell said. “We have stayed in almost all their homes. My children ask them for advice. These men and their wives have just invested. It’s almost too heavy a burden of gratitude to carry … When I think about Kenny, it is an easy mixture — equal parts loyalty, commitment and courage. Those are the things A&M and the Corps exemplifies … and I want my kids to remember that about their dad.”
Howell and her family moved back to Texas to be close to Robertson’s Corps buddies and now live across from Nathan Harris, Class of 1997, who served as Robertson’s second-in-command while in the Corps.
When Company G-2 was reactivated in August of 2014, it was not long after that Robertson’s buddies started looking for ways to give him a permanent legacy in the Corps he loved.
According to Texas A&M Foundation senior director of development Matt Jennings, having the bench and a scholarship dedicated to Robertson is evidence of the special camaraderie that the Corps engenders in former cadets.
“One of the most generous groups in A&M are former members of the Corps,” Jennings said. “It’s a way to honor their friend, [and] at the same time to support another student. It helps to perpetuate an experience that they had.”
The bench dedicated to Roberson sits on the Quad at the corner of Dorm 5 and Dorm 7.
The Kenny Robertson ‘97 Memorial Corps of Cadets Scholarship will be given to the commander of G-2 each year. Barak Waters, political science senior and current G-2 commander, said he plans to join the Air Force and felt humbled to be part of a history of leaders that came before him.
“I came to A&M to better myself and better others,” Waters said. “You feel like you’re part of something greater than yourself. … It’s a little bit more weight behind it … knowing that there’s someone else who’s been in my shoes.”
It is the memories of Robertson’s love for God that Howell hopes people most remember about her husband.
“His grave marker at the camp that we met says that he was God’s 12th Man,” Howell said. “The reason we carved that is because the 12th Man is the one that can be counted on to volunteer at a moment’s notice and Kenny was God’s 12th Man … He allowed himself to be used in the service of others.”

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