On April 30, 2023, family and friends gathered at the country home of Kenneth Sekula to celebrate the posthumous induction of Kenneth “Kenny” McGinty of Gonzales into the Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia, on May 1, 2023.
A catered meal was served, friends reminisced with stories of the Kenny they knew growing up in Gonzales, viewed several displays around the area showing the many facets of Kenny, and Bill McCaskill presided over a very moving Missing Man Table ceremony. Kenny was nominated based on his military service, his civilian contributions, and his dedication and service to his community.
Lt. Col. Kenneth McGinty was nominated by another Hall of Fame member Col. (retired) Brice Barnes, in co-ordination with members of the 2nd/47th/9th Infantry Divisions. Kenny was chosen for this honor as an acknowledgment of his superior leadership in command positions as well as for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. For those actions, he was awarded two Bronze Stars for Valor, two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, five Air Medals, the Army Aviator of the Year in 1986, and many other awards too numerous to mention.
Kenny’s military service also included being an Airborne Ranger in the 75th Ranger Battalion, serving two combat tours in Southeast Asia, and serving in the Army Staff at the Pentagon.
When Kenny transitioned into a second career, he didn’t stop contributing to others. As a program manager and VP for Lockheed Martin in the defense aerospace industry where he led and coordinated the development of the Apache helicopter. Kenny flew the Apache, which he named after the local mascot, on one of its first flights to share it with the community of Gonzales.
Kenny never forgot his roots in Gonzales and never stopped giving back. He helped several in FFA, brought the Apache helicopter to town for all to see, helped organize the Come & Take It Tommy Chenault Memorial Golf tournament fundraiser to honor those lost in Vietnam through scholarships in area communities, and offered ROTC support in GISD. Kenny never turned down an opportunity to speak to the public. In 2019 he was named the parade marshal for the annual Come & Take It celebration.
Kenny McGinty passed away at the age of 77 on June 24, 2022.
He is definitely a true patriot and a hometown hero recognized for service to his country and his community by being inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame in Ft. Benning, Georgia. We salute him and thank him for his service.