Special Operations Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
A local soldier died Saturday in combat operations in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) at Fort Bragg reported Monday that Sgt. 1st Class Ronald A. Grider, whose wife lives in Carthage, was killed in Konduz Province.
Grider, 30, a veteran of a dozen years of military service, was on his ninth deployment in the current Middle East conflicts.
He served with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg as a grenadier, rifleman and scout team leader, according to the Army. Also during this time, Grider attended and graduated from ranger school. He served with the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga., as a rifle team leader and squad leader, where he deployed once to Afghanistan and three times to Iraq.
Later, Grider passed the Special Forces Qualification Test and completed the culminating Robin Sage exercise here to win his Green Beret. In November 2005, the Army assigned him to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Operations Command, at Fort Bragg as a Special Operations team member.
"For five years, he performed this duty, deploying four times to Operation Iraqi Freedom and once more to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom," USASOC said.
Grider was born in Alton, Ill. He graduated from high school in 1998. Grider enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman on Aug. 18, 1998.
After completing Infan-try One Station Unit Training and Basic Air-borne School, Grider was assigned to Charlie Com-pany, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regi-ment at Fort Bragg, where he served for three years as a grenadier and a rifleman.
In the spring of 2000, he attended 82nd Airborne Division Pre-Ranger Course, subsequently at-tending and graduating from Ranger School in May 2000.
Grider's awards include two Bronze Star Medals, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Med-al with Valor Device, three Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achieve-ment Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (fourth award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal with six Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncom-missioned Officer Profes-sional Development Ribbon with numeral three, Army Service Ribbon, Ranger Tab, Sapper Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and five Overseas Service Bars and the Valorous Unit Award.
Grider was posthumously awarded his third Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.
Grider is survived by his 4-year-old daughter, Katie-Anne Grider, of Raleigh, from his first marriage. He married his second wife, Brittany Grider, of Carthage, in March of this year. His parents are Ronald and Ginny Grider, of Brighton, Ill., and Rita Grider, of St. Louis.
His body was to be returned to Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., on Monday.
Funeral arrangements were unavailable at press time. It is customary for a service to be held at the Special Forces Chapel on Fort Bragg.
Contact John Chappell at email@example.com.
More like this story