Upstate Guardsman killed in Afghanistan
- Saturday, 23 June 2012
- Written by James Richardson
KHOWST PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN – Three South Carolina Army National Guard soldiers, including one from the Upstate, were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Army officials say 30-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Matthew "Brad" Thomas, of Easley, died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire and an improvised explosive device.
Thomas, who attended Travelers Rest High School, was married and had a young son. He was assigned to the 133rd Military Police Company, 51st Military Police Battalion in Florence, S.C.
Also killed in the attack were 1st Lt. Ryan D. Rawl, 30, of Lexington, and Spc. John D. Meador II, 36, of Columbia.
“It is with deep regret that we announce the deaths of three of our South Carolina Guardsmen,” said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., the state’s Adjutant General. “These men died serving their country, and I want to expresses my deepest sympathy and condolences to their families, who are the unsung heroes of our war effort.”
“These deaths are grim reminders that our military, to include the South Carolina National Guard, is still in active combat in defense of our country,” added Livingston. “We are privileged to have such heroes in our midst.”
Five South Carolina National Guard soldiers were also wounded in the attack.
(Photo courtesy of FreedomRemembered.com.)