Military Times
Honor The Fallen
Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
Search Our Database





  





Bookmark and Share

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin

Died August 8, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


45, of Laramie, Wyo.; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died Aug. 8 in Sarkowi, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by a suicide bomb attack.


Family remembers soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo. — Relatives of a Wyoming soldier who was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan remember him as a man who was intensely dedicated to the military and to his family.

The Defense Department said Thursday that 45-year-old Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, who grew up in Riverton, was killed Wednesday.

Dustin Griffin, the soldier's nephew, told the Casper Star-Tribune he would never forget the time his uncle took him to Fort Carson in Colorado when he was 10 and let him sit in a military tank.

"He was definitely 100 percent Army," Dustin Griffin said. "He was all about the Army. ... He lived it."

Meanwhile, Shawn Griffin described his brother — a 24-year Army veteran and father of two — as someone who loved his family even more than the military, adding that Kevin Griffin was a "very competitive, fun-loving, real adventurous-type kid" growing up.

Kevin Griffin competed on the Riverton High School wrestling team and won a state championship before attending Northwest Community College in Powell. He transferred to the University of Wyoming after two years, joined the military and continued to wrestle for the Army.

During his Army career, he served three tours in Iraq and had been deployed to Kuwait and the Balkans. Griffin was on a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed.

"He truly believed in what he was doing, and that's the one solace that we kind of get out of this," Shawn Griffin said. "He was where he wanted to be."

Wednesday's attack also killed Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, N.Y.; Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray, 38, of Conyers, Ga.; and USAID foreign service officer Ragaei Abdelfattah.

Griffin and Kennedy were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 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, which is part of the 93d Air Ground Operations Wing headquartered at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.


Funeral for soldier killed in suicide attack

The Associated Press

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A soldier from Wyoming who was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan is being laid to rest.

Funeral services will be held for 45-year-old Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin of Laramie on Tuesday at Fort Carson. He will be buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

Griffin was a 24-year Army veteran and father of two. He was killed along with two other soldiers and a foreign service officer on Aug. 8 when insurgents detonated suicide vests in Kunar province.

Griffin previously served three tours in Iraq and had been deployed to Kuwait and the Balkans.

He competed on the Riverton High School wrestling team and won a state championship.

Shawn Griffin told the Casper Star-Tribune that his brother loved his family even more than the military.


Griffin remembered as father figure

The Associated Press

FORT CARSON, Colo. — A Fort Carson-based soldier from Wyoming who was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan was remembered Tuesday as a powerful father figure, not only to his family but to his troops.

Family, friends and fellow soldiers paid their respects to Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, of Laramie at a service at Fort Carson on Tuesday.

The 24-year Army veteran and father of two was killed along with two other soldiers and a foreign service officer Aug. 8 when insurgents detonated suicide vests in Kunar province.

The Riverton High graduate previously served three tours in Iraq and had been deployed to Kuwait and the Balkans.

The Gazette reported that Lt. Col. Scott Mueller said at the memorial service Tuesday that the Army’s culture of structure and discipline were a perfect fit for Griffin, but Griffin also would often joke with his troops.

Mueller remembered how Griffin would suggest a trip to the golf course right when his soldier evaluations were due. And Mueller smirked when Griffin then offered a shot or two of tequila.

“Griff was an inspirational leader, like a father to his troops,” Mueller said. “Kevin always had a way of keeping people focused through laughter.”

Kevin Griffin’s son, Sgt. Dane Griffin, and his nephew Spc. Derek Griffin each joined the military in his footsteps.

“He didn’t want us to go, but he was proud at the same time,” Derek Griffin said.

After the service at Fort Carson, a procession traveled from the Army post outside Colorado Springs to Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver for his burial.


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.


Northwest College scholarship to honor soldier

The Associated Press

POWELL, Wyo. — A new scholarship program will benefit students at Northwest College in Powell in the memory of a soldier who was killed while serving in Afghanistan last year.

Suicide bombers killed 45-year-old Army Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin and two other service members. All three were members of units at Fort Carson, Colo. The attack also killed a foreign service officer.

Griffin graduated from Riverton High School in 1985 and attended Northwest College. He excelled as a wrestler in high school and college.

The Powell Tribune reports that the new scholarships will go to wrestlers and veterans studying at the community college starting in 2014.

Griffin was a 24-year Army veteran and father of two. He previously served three tours in Iraq and had been deployed to Kuwait and the Balkans.

View By Year & Month

2002   2001