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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Henderson II, Robert L. (P3, C1, L16)

robert_hendersonFirst Lieutenant Robert Lewis. Henderson, II, 33, of Alvaton, Warren County, died 17 April 2004 in, Diwaniyah, Iraq, when his convoy tried to avoid an overturned trailer and came under small arms attack.

Henderson, sustained gunshot wounds and was mortally wounded but continued to drive his vehicle and lead the convoy out of the ambush. He strategically repositioned his vehicle so that the other soldiers in the vehicle could return fire and warn his convoy of the impending danger and saving many lives before he collapsed.

First Lieutenant Henderson was a platoon leader for Detachment 1, 2123rd Transportation Company at Owensboro. Henderson joined the Kentucky National Guard at age 17 and had served more than 15 years. Henderson's son was born just a few weeks after his death in Iraq.

henderson robert l inside vehicleHe was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal.

Henderson was a graduate of Warren Central High School and attended Western Kentucky University studying in business management. Henderson was a sales manager for the Lowe's store in Bowling Green, and had also worked at three other Kentucky area stores in his 10 years with the company. He was a member of Rockfield United Methodist Church.

Henderson is buried at the Bowling Green Gardens Cemetery

 

 

 

henderson robert l headstone

 

 

 

 

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This poem, which was inspired by a lieutenant 's philosophy of “drive on, no matter what,” recognizes not only his dedication Out also that of all of the drivers who risk their lives to ensure that the soldiers on the front line have the supplies they need.

The Driving Force
By Sergeant Jennifer D. Payne, USAR
Published in the January-February 2005 Army Logistician Magazine Page 41

I’m a soldier prepared to ride. Mission ahead, rifle by my side.
Get in line and get in gear, leave behind all your fears.
Combat checked, secured my load. Now it’s time I face the road.
And if this time I don’t survive, don’t you stop. Finish the drive.
For I know to stop would be a sin. Drive on, or the enemy will win.
I’m on the road, in the driver's seat. Eating dust and breathing heat.
Get in line and get in gear, leave behind all your fears.
No time to waste, I was told. The boys up north need this load.
And if it’s my life the enemy should take, you better drive on, for the front line's sake.
For I know to stop would be a sin. Drive on, or the enemy will win.
I’m a soldier prepared to fight. Pedal to the floor, enemy in sight.
Get in line and get in gear, leave behind all your fears.
Combat ready, shoot to kill. Nothing can stop a soldier's will.
And if this time my life should cease, drive on so I may rest in peace.
For I know to stop would be a sin. Drive on, or the enemy will win.
I’m a road warrior, and a boundless rider. I’m a dedicated combat truck driver.
Get in line and get in gear, leave behind all your fears.
I know the danger of my task. I know my life may not last.
And if you should hear my final heart beat, drive on ‘til the mission's complete.
I know you won't stop, you know it’s a sin. I know you won't let the enemy win
Drive on soldiers, let those trucks roar!
And with your help we'll win this war!
Through enemy fire and harsh desert heat,
The opposition we will defeat!
And when we pass, remember this. Our selfless deeds led us to bliss.
We ride through terror, our guard never drops.
When the mission's complete is when we'll stop.
And when we finish we'll go home with pride.
And never forget this war’s long ride.

Sergeant Jennifer d. Payne, USAR, is assigned to the 210th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in Garner, North Carolina. She wrote this poem as a memorial to First Lieutenant Robert L. Henderson of the 2123d Transportation Company from Richmond, Kentucky, who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq.

 

driving force Poem

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273
 

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