published Friday, August 10th, 2012

Victims ID’d in suicide attack in Afghanistan

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Three troops killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan were assigned to units based at Fort Carson in Colorado, military officials said Thursday.

The Defense Department identified them as Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray, 38, of Conyers, Ga.; Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, N.Y.; and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, of Laramie, Wyo.

Authorities had said earlier that the insurgents who detonated suicide vests Wednesday in Kunar province killed three coalition service members and a civilian.

Griffin and Kennedy were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Griffin joined the Army in 1988, Fort Carson officials said. He had deployed to Iraq three times since 2003 and also served in the Balkans and Kuwait. His deployment to Afghanistan had started March 13.

Kennedy joined the Army in 2000 and had deployed to Iraq twice. His deployment to Afghanistan had just begun July 18.

Gray was an air liaison officer and flight commander for the Fort Carson-based 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, which is part of the 93d Air Ground Operations Wing headquartered at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.

“Maj. Gray’s ultimate sacrifice is a tragic loss for the 93d Air Ground Operations Wing family,” said Col. Samuel Milam, wing commander, in a written statement. “He was a tremendous officer and leader. Our most heartfelt sympathies are with the Gray family and the Airmen of the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron during this difficult time.”

Gray was commissioned in October 1997 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps after serving as an enlisted airman and was one of the Air Force’s first career air liaison officers.

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