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LHS Graduate Killed in Afghanistan Had Distinguished Military Career

Maj. Walter "David" Gray, KIA in Afghanistan on Aug. 8, 2012, was second-highest ranking officer in U.S. Air Liaison field.

was the victim of one of three deadly strikes in Afghanistan this week, the latest one just today.

Gray, 38, a 1992 graduate, died on Aug. 8, 2012, as a result of a suicide attack in Kunar province that left five people dead, three of them U. S. military members. Moody Air Force Base in Georgia issued a press release following the announcement of Gray’s death.

“Maj. Gray’s ultimate sacrifice is a tragic loss for the 93d Air Ground Operations Wing family,” said Col. Samuel Milam, wing commander. “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 assigned to the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Carson, Colo. He was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and his unit was responsible for integrating combat airpower into ground operations, according to the release from Moody AFB. Gray enlisted first as an airman and was commissioned in October 1997 through the Reserve Office Training Corps. After serving for several years as an Airfield Operations Officer, Gray went on to become one of the Air Force’s first career Air Liaison Officer. He was currently the Air Liaison's second-highest ranking officer. Gray, whose home is listed as Conyers, Ga., leaves a wife and three children.

According to a story on CNN.com, the attack that killed Gray happened as the troops were exiting a military vehicle and were preparing to enter a compound. An aid worker and an Afghan civilian were killed in the same attack. The two other U.S. military members who died in the attack were Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, the senior enlisted soldier of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson, Color. and Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, NY.

Members of the LHS Class of 1992 are currently working on plans to honor their fallen classmate, according to Patch columnist Jeff Allen who graduated with Gray. Chief Public Affairs Officer 1st Lt. Meredith Kirchoff at Moody AFB said details are not yet known about final arrangements for Gray.

"We will have to coordinate with the Army. Although he was a member of the Air Force, he was assigned to the Army at Fort Carson," Kirchoff said, adding that Gray's immediate family lives in Colorado, so it is not known at this time where his funeral will be held. Details of the return of Gray's body to the U.S. and funeral arrangments will be published as soon as they are made known.

Sharon Swanepoel August 10, 2012 at 08:37 PM
We would like to thank Maj. Bryce Dibble, a friend and fellow serviceman of Maj. Walter David Bryce, for the photographs he contributed.

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