An Army “Green Berets” staff sergeant originally from South Carolina has died in Afghanistan, according to an Army release.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command revealed Monday that Staff Sgt. Girard Gass, Jr., 33, died of non-combat related injuries in Nangarhar Province on Sunday. The cause of death is under investigation, according to the Army.
The Charleston Post & Courier reports Gass was originally from Hanahan and played football at Hanahan High School. After graduating, he continued his playing career at Gardner-Webb University.
He enlisted in 2008 and eventually became a Special Forces medical sergeant with Company C, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). Gass had moved to Lumber Bridge, NC, to be near his unit’s post at Fort Bragg.
“Staff Sgt. Girard ‘Jerry’ Gass was an exceptional Green Beret, noncommissioned officer, and human being who loved his family, team, country, and job with everything he had,” Gass’ battalion commander, Lt. Col. Patrick O’Hara, said in a statement. “He made the ultimate sacrifice for what he loved, and we are all proud, honored, and humbled to have known him, and will always cherish the time we all served together,”
Gass’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal with “V” device, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (second award) and National Defense Service Medal. Gass was posthumously awarded his second Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.