A former Marion man serving in the Vermont Army National Guard died July 2 from an improvised-explosive device while deployed in Afghanistan.
Army Pfc. Ryan J. Grady, 25, was the first of 1,500 Vermont guardsmen to die in the year-long deployment, according to the Vermont National Guard Public Information Office.
Grady and four other Vermont soldiers, who had been in Afghanistan for about seven months, were struck with the explosive device while on a patrol convoy, according to a PIO spokesperson.
Three of the soldiers were injured and treated in Germany and the fourth remained in Afghanistan.
Tom Grady of Newport, Vt., said his nephew?s body arrived Tuesday in Vermont.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 17, at North Congregation Church in St. Johnsbury, Vt., with Chaplain James MacIntyre III officiating. Burial will be at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in St. Johnsbury.
?Ryan has fond memories of Kansas and liked being out there so much that (at his funeral) one of the songs that will be played is ?Home On The Range,?? his uncle said.
Born May 30, 1985, in Marion, Grady was the son of Deborah L. Bezdek and James A. Grady.
His nephew, Tom Grady said, lived in Kansas until about 2001, when his family moved to Vermont.
In 2003, Ryan graduated from Thunderbird Military Academy in Oklahoma.
He is survived by a daughter, Alexis, 6; his parents; two brothers and sisters-in-laws, James and Lisa Grady of Muskogee, Okla., and Kevin and Sheli Grady of St. Johnsbury; a niece; two nephews; and aunts and uncles.
Memorial may be made to The Ryan Grady Memorial Fund and sent in care of: Community National Bank, 857 Memorial Drive, Suite 2, St. Johnsbury VT 05819.
Condolences may be sent privately to his family at saylesfh.com.