Georgia Army Guard Spc. Andrew Grace of Rincon and a cannon crew member with Springfield’s A Battery, 1/118 Field Artillery Battalion, has returned from Afghanistan, his first-ever deployment.
Grace and his fellow soldiers flew into Hunter Army Airfield the previous day where they were greeted by Brig. Gen. Maria Britt, Georgia Army Guard commander; Lt. Col. Michael Fordham, executive officer for Georgia’s 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Command Sgt. Maj. James Nelson, Georgia Army Guard command sergeant major.
“I’m proud of the work we did there,” he said, “but I have to say I’m also glad to be back in Georgia.”
During his tour-of-duty, Grace assisted with force protection at Camp Black Horse near Kabul for coalition forces and Combined Task Force Phoenix.
He’s among the more than 2,000 members of the 48th Brigade who deployed last June in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The brigade’s yearlong mission was to mentor and train members of the Afghan army and National Police.
Grace and his fellow Guardsmen will spend about a week redeploying at the Georgia Guard Garrison Training Center next to Fort Stewart before returning to their traditional Guard status. As a civilian, he worked as a waiter for Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Pooler.