SSG Robert Charles Henry was born in Missouri on January 30th, 1951, to a family with a proud Navy history. As a man that spent his life determined to forge his own path, he enlisted in the Army in 1970. During his 10 years of serving his country he earned the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Sharpshooter Badge & Grenade bar, Marksman Badge & Auto Rifle bar, Parachutist Badge (basic), Korea Defense Service Medal, and the thing he was most proud of, the coveted Ranger Tab. He served as a mountain Ranger Instructor and Jump Instructor, as well as managing the NCO club at Camp Frank D. Merrill, where he received a letter of commendation for his assistance in rebuilding the planning bays, completing the new airfield control tower, and repairing the ceiling of the patrolling annex building. He finished his military career as military science instructor at Riverside Military Academy before choosing not to reenlist in 1980.
After leaving the military he moved his young family to southern California, where he spent six years as a pump mechanic in that area's oil fields. In 1986 he moved his family back to Georgia, this time to Clarkesville, to become a private contractor. He was a carpenter at heart, and he had an almost preternatural understanding of how things worked. This made him an exceptional builder, which led to him building the city of Clarkesville's iconic gazebo.
He finished his civilian career as a geotechnical engineer, where some of his most notable works were stabilizing the sinking structures at Barry College in Rome, GA, and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.
On January 30th, 2017, the day before his retirement was to begin, he was struck by a sudden illness. After 3 weeks in a coma, during which he suffered a heart attack and 3 strokes, he succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage on February 20, 2017 at the age of 66.
SSG Henry was a complex man, and he was difficult to know. He was solid and dependable, a hard worker with an impeccable work ethic, a brilliant man with unequalled skills. He was also a loving family man, whose children and grandchildren were the joy of his life. And even though he parted ways with the Army more than three decades ago, a part of him never really left Camp Merrill. Throughout his life, he was always a Ranger.