September 29, 2010

Flags lowered to honor war casualty

Under a proclamation signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, the United States flag and the Illinois flag are to be at half-staff at all State of Illinois facilities in honor of a U.S. Army soldier killed recently in the war in Afghanistan.

Flags are to be flown at half-staff beginning Friday, Oct. 1, until sunset, Sunday, Oct. 3, in honor of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ronald A. Grider of Brighton.

Reports indicate that Grider, died Sept. 18 -- his 30th birthday -- after being hit by machine gun fire in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan.

A native of Alton, Grider joined the military after graduating from Civic Memorial High School in Bethalto.

Grider was on his ninth deployment to the Middle East when he died. During his military career Grider went to Afghanistan once and Iraq three times while a rifle team leader and squad leader with the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He went to Iraq four more times and Afghanistan once more after joining the U.S. Army Special Operations force in 2005. He was assigned to the Army’s special operations command at Fort Bragg, N.C.