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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray

Died August 8, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


38, of Conyers, Ga.; assigned to 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Carson, Colo.; died Aug. 8 in Sarkowi, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by a suicide bomb attack.


Army honors slain servicemen from Ga., N.Y., Wyo.

The Associated Press

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson is holding a memorial service for three servicemen killed in Afghanistan.

Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray, Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy and Army Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin will be honored Thursday at the infantry post outside Colorado Springs.

They were killed Aug. 8 when insurgents detonated suicide vests.

Gray, 38, was from Conyers, Ga.; Kennedy, 35, was from West Point, N.Y.; and Griffin, 45, was from Laramie, Wyo.

Griffin and Kennedy were assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, part of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson. Gray was an air liaison officer and flight commander for the Fort Carson-based 13th Air Support Operations Squadron, part of the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.


Hold service dear, chaplain tells mourners

The Associated Press

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A Fort Carson chaplain urged mourners to hold dear the service of three servicemen killed in an attack in Afghanistan as hundreds gathered at the Army post Thursday to remember them.

Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray, 38, of Conyers, Ga.; Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, N.Y.; and Army Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, of Laramie, Wyo., died Aug. 8 when insurgents detonated suicide vests.

“Let us hold their service dear,” said Lt. Col. Keith Goode. “Let us make sure that their sacrifice is not in vain.”

Griffin and Kennedy were assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Carson.

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

Scores of people dabbed their eyes under graying skies while others wept softly during the memorial service, The Gazette reported.

Griffin served in Kuwait and the Balkans before deploying three times to Iraq. He graduated from Riverton High School. The father of two had recently celebrated 25 years of marriage to his wife, Pam.

“The Army in this country has lost a great soldier and a champion,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jody Heikkinen.

Kennedy deployed to Afghanistan in July. He had earned three Bronze Stars and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he was on the hockey team. Surviving are his wife, Kami, and two children, Brody and Margaret.

“We know you are up there in the company of the great ones looking over us now,” said Maj. Timothy Knoth. “You will be on the ice with us each time we lace up.”

Gray was known as a perfectionist. He was killed days before his 11th wedding anniversary. His survivors include his wife, Heather, and their children Nyah, Garrett and Ava.

“Honestly, I don’t know if we can say rest in peace for David,” said Michael Fernihough, who was Gray’s pastor. “Because David’s just too busy worshipping his king.”

The three men received a 21-gun salute before a single trumpet broke the silence.

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