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Slain sergeant remembered as kind man by fellow soldiers
Sierra Vista Herald/Review ^ | Ted Morris

Posted on 11/08/2007 8:51:32 PM PST by SandRat

FORT HUACHUCA — He was the kind of guy who would give you his last cigarette.

Stories like this were told during Wednesday’s memorial service in a packed Main Post Chapel for Sgt. Robert Allen Glenn, who died Saturday in Tucson.

“He was the first to initiate a friendship,” Chaplain (Capt.) Vincent Garcia said, noting how common it was for soldiers to say Glenn was the first person they got to know in the unit.

Glenn was a “cable dog” with the battalion’s 69th Signal Company, which is preparing to deploy to the Middle East.

A number of soldiers stood up to speak on Glenn’s behalf.

The people in the sanctuary hushed as Spc. Justin Harris took the microphone. His right cheek was covered with a bandage. He was at the wheel of the car that contained Glenn and a third, unnamed soldier when they came under attack from a gunman in another car early Saturday morning as the parties left a nightclub. Glenn died at the scene, in the 4400 block of East Speedway Boulevard.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the suspected shooter, Jurel Roberson. He remains at large. The investigation continues, a Tucson Police Department spokesman said Wednesday.

Miraculously, the bullet that penetrated Harris’ mouth exited the left side of his neck without causing significant harm, Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (Army) spokesman Gordon Van Vleet said before the memorial service began.

Harris will eventually deploy to Iraq with his unit, pending medical evaluations, Van Vleet said.

“I don’t even know how to start this,” Harris said to the sea of green seated in the chapel. He clutched a prepared statement, but he also spoke extemporaneously.

“We was a tight group,” Harris said, noting how Glenn was “like a big brother.”

Money problems? Glenn was there.

Issues at home? “He was there for me.”

Harris, who was initially reported to be in serious condition at a Tucson hospital, was less emotional than the other speakers and seemed somewhat shell-shocked, but he told his listeners, “I’m grateful to be alive.”

Moments earlier, as the memorial service got under way, a grim-faced Brig. Gen. Carroll Pollett, the head of the Network Enterprise Technology Command, escorted Glenn’s widow, Talia. He did not speak in public.

Capt. Kevin Blaine, commander of the 69th Signal Company, spoke in remembrance of Spc. Glenn, who was posthumously promoted in rank.

“Sgt. Glenn had the heart of a real cable dog,” Blaine said through tears, noting that Glenn was respected throughout the battalion. “He felt deeply about the things he believed in.”

Spc. Gregory Rollock prompted some light laughter in the chapel as he gave an example of why Glenn was “a man of true character.”

“He would even give you his last cigarette,” Rollock said. He will remember Glenn as a talented athlete — football, soccer and especially basketball.

“He had a competitive attitude about everything,” Rollock said. “He refused to lose.”

A soulful solo sung by Spc. Matthew Jackson elicited sobs throughout the large hall.

Then the heavy reality of his departure sunk in as a ceremonial roll call was taken.

A handful were called. In a loud and clear voice, the soldier answered the call from his first sergeant. All answered, except one.

“Sgt. Glenn?”


“Sgt. Robert Glenn?”

More silence was punctuated by the widow’s wailing in the sanctuary. No other sound was evident.

“Sgt. Robert Allen Glenn?”

The finality was brought home as three volleys of rifle fire rang out from the courtyard, followed by a bugler sounding taps.

Afterward, outside the chapel, Glenn’s great-aunt Janace Ross of Glendale, promised that the coming funeral would fill his hometown church in Pasadena, Calif.

Ross said her sister, Oree Booker, Glenn’s maternal grandmother, had raised him.

“My sister … she raised them all,” Ross said, noting her sister, unable to attend Wednesday’s service, is crushed by the tragic event.

Booker took a philosophical stance.

“God has a plan for us all.”

Herald/Review City Editor Ted Morris can be reached at 515-4614 or by e-mail at

TOPICS: Local News; Military/Veterans; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: huachuca; remembered; sergeant; slain

1 posted on 11/08/2007 8:51:33 PM PST by SandRat
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To: StarCMC; Bethbg79; EsmeraldaA; MoJo2001; Kathy in Alaska; Brad's Gramma; laurenmarlowe; ...

2 posted on 11/08/2007 8:52:28 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Thank you.

3 posted on 11/08/2007 9:02:16 PM PST by doc1019 (Fred Thompson '08)
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