A Security Force of One

In our security-aware world, we talk of cameras, software and various other solutions, but in a global sense, our men and women in the military are the first line of defense.

I wanted to tell you about one standard-bearer, who always wanted to serve our country. He is Ronald Grider.

You may have already heard the story of Sgt. 1st Class Girder, but if not, stick with me.

Grider is a native of Illinois. He was 30 years old and was serving his ninth deployment in defense of our country. Described as a “happy-go-lucky-kid,” he built his life around serving the United States.

He was no ordinary kid though; not by a long shot. He knew from an early age that his calling in life was one of service to our country. After high school he joined the Army, pulling on the boots of an infantryman. He was a fast-burner, as military jargon goes, joining Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, N.C. This included several high-profile assignments with intensive training.

Ultimately, Grider became a member of the U.S. Army Special Operations Company (Airborne).

He loved the Army, his country and defending our freedom so much he signed up for a 20-year hitch to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never mind the two Bronze Stars he earned. He was pretty humble about that.

He completed eight of these missions with grace, humility, skill and a warm smile. He loved freedom.

His ninth deployment wasn’t quite as easy. The last deployment took all he had, including celebrating his birthday on Sept. 18. He was involved in a fierce gun battle with insurgents in the defense of our fundamental rights of freedom.

Grider knew he was going to die. As he lay bleeding out from battle wounds, he looked up at the guys trying to take care of him, and said, “It’s OK.”

His fight for global security was over. He closed his eyes on his birthday, and died

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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