Fallen Hero SFC Robert A. Cheever, US Army Artillary

SFC Robert A. Cheever

June 7, 1972 - February 21, 2010
US Army Artillary

Rob's bio was prepared by his parents, Walt and Lois Cheever.

Rob grew up in Mankato MN. He joined the Army right after High School; his service matured him into the outstanding man and leader he became.

He loved activity - skiing, scuba diving, bicycling, archery, and driving anything with a motor. He took Airborne training and delighted in jumping out of perfectly good airplanes at 100 miles pH. After he broke his leg twice, the jumping ended, but he always missed the excitement.

All his life he had a sense of humor, and delighted in clowning and practical jokes. He had a friendly rivalry with a nephew who was so 'foolish' as to join the Marines! His family and friends were very important to him. When he was home on leave, he contacted those who were important in his life, and no matter where he was stationed, he kept in touch. It was very difficult for him with his young family—he had to spend half his time in deployment overseas, and the other half stateside training for his next deployment. His wife and children were definitely an Army family.

When he became an NCO, he came into his own. He knew who to push, and who to help. His abilities were recognized by being inducted into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, recognizing outstanding NCO performance and exceptional leadership. He was more proud of that honor than the Bronze Star he was awarded. His Battalion Commander Sgt. Major told me “Rob was our go-to guy. When we had a difficult job to do, he got it done. Sometimes we didn't want to know how, but he got it done.”

His last year was a good one. He had extra time with his family before the deployment. He served as Company First Sergeant. He received his promotion to Sergeant First Class, and he and his wife started making plans for his retirement after 18 ½ years service in the Army.

During his last deployment, he realized something was wrong. He started having physical problems that couldn't be solved in Afghanistan, but he toughed it out. There was no way he was going to return stateside before his men and his unit. On his return, the answer was quick and brutal—Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The Army immediately transferred him to Mankato to be with family and friends. He only lived another month, but that time was precious to all of us. He is buried with his comrades-in-arms at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.

Rob has a warm place in the hearts of all his family, particularly his widow Jill, and his children Madison and Jacob. He was an important part of all our lives.

A friend who had known him since high school made the best summary of his life, “He had a good life—it was just short.”

It was my honor to paint Rob. At age 37 he had courageously served our country for many years, and was close to retirement.

Portrait sponsored by:
Cpl. Curtis M. Swenson Memorial Fund, Rochester, MN