Gilford man latest in line in family of West Point graduates
GILFORD — When Kenneth Eugene Webber IV graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point Wednesday, he joined what his grandfather affectionately calls the Webber family’s “militaristic clan.”
His grandfather, Col. Kenneth Eugene Webber Jr., retired, of the West Point Class of 1948, said he was proud to have his grandson, a Gilford High School graduate, joining the clan as the fourth Kenneth Eugene Webber in the family to graduate from West Point.
The original was the late Maj. Gen. Kenneth Eugene Webber, Class of 1923. He died in 1980. The new graduate’s uncle is Lt. Col. Kenneth Eugene Webber III, who is now retired.
“I know it sounds confusing, and it can be sometimes,” said Col. Kenneth Eugene Webber Jr. “But it’s a militaristic clan, and you won’t survive being one of us unless you live by the credo of duty, honor, country.”
Col. K.E. Webber said his grandfather, Col. Benjamin D. Webber, was actually the first West Point graduate in the family.
And this year’s graduate is the son of another graduate, Lt. Col. Kurt Webber, retired, Class of 1979, while young Kenneth’s older brother, Capt. Kristopher Webber, graduated in the Class of 2010, and his cousin, 2nd Lt. Kandace Webber, graduated in 2013.
The Webbers have served in many wars.
Major K.E. Webber served in China during World War II; Col. K.E. Webber commanded a infantry battalion in Vietnam in 1966; Lt. Col. K.E. Webber served with the 7th Special Forces Group in Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989; Lt. Col. Kurt Webber served in Iraq in 2005, and Capt. Kris Webber served in Afghanistan in 2013. Second Lt. Kandace Webber will deploy to Afghanistan in June 2014.
“I didn’t push any of our kids to go to West Point, it was their decision having been exposed to it and to the military way of life,” Col. K.E. Webber said. “Having said that, I am extremely proud that they did so well. It’s not easy, academically or otherwise.”
All of the living Webber West Point graduates were at young Kenneth’s graduation. After a period of leave, he will go through field artillery officers training at Fort Sill, Okla., and then will serve in the Fourth Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.
Last Sunday, he said he expected his graduation day Wednesday “to be the best day of my life.”
“It comes down to how I was raised, I have a calling to serve my country,” he said. “It feels amazing to have all of these other graduates in the family. The whole thing is amazing.”