Charleston Southern alumnus dies in Afghanistan


The Public Affairs Office at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado has confirmed Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray died Wednesday from injuries suffered during a suicide bomb attack in Kunar province. Gray, 38, was a 2001 graduate of Charleston Southern University.

Gray was an Air Liaison Officer and flight commander attached to Fort Carson through the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. He was commissioned as an officer in October of 1997. He was previously an enlisted Airman and was one of the Air Force's first career Air Liaison Officers.

Gray earned a Bachelor of Technology degree from Charleston Southern. He was a member of Air Force ROTC Detachment 772 at the college.

"The Charleston Southern University family is grieving the loss of one of our own today," said President Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. "Our thoughts and prayers are with David's family."

According to the United States Defense Department, Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, the senior enlisted soldier of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson, Colorado and Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, New York were also killed in the attack.

"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I have sent my deepest condolences to the entire U.S. Mission in Afghanistan," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a written statement released late Thursday.

Gray is a native of Conyers, Georgia. He is survived by his wife, Heather (a 2002 graduate of Charleston Southern University), and three children.