Hundreds gather to honor VA Green Beret killed in Afghanistan

Hundreds gather to honor VA Green Beret killed in Afghanistan
Capt. Andrew P. Ross was one of three servicemen killed Tuesday from an IED

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - More than 900 people filled St. Michael Catholic Church to say thank you and honor Captain Andrew Ross.

Following his death, flags flew at half-staff across the state to honor Capt. Ross, who was killed by an IED explosion in Afghanistan last month.

His funeral service was held Monday at 1 p.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, and his body will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on at a future date.

Ross, 29, a native of Lexington, was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by an improvised explosive device. He was one of three servicemen killed November 27 while serving in Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Eric M. Emond, 39, of Boston, Massachusetts and Air Force Staff Sergeant Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania, were also killed in the explosion.

Ross and Emond were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

"Andrew and Eric were invaluable members and leaders in 3rd Special Forces Group and the special operations community. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these brave men,” said Col. Nathan Prussian, 3rd SFG (A) commander.

Ross had more than seven years of service in the Army, according to US Army Special Operations Command. This was his second overseas tour.

Ross leaves behind his wife, parents (who now live in the Richmond area), sister, grandparents and nephews.

According to Ross’s obituary he and his wife, Felicia, were married in February.

“Drew and Felicia lived a love story written in the constellations built upon their mutual care for each other and those who entered their lives,” the obituary states. “They considered everyone in their circle to be family.”

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2nd award), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge.

(Source: Bliley's Funeral Home)
(Source: Bliley's Funeral Home) ((Source: Bliley's Funeral Home))

“Drew was well known for his infectious smile, his playful sense of humor and his ever-present passion for fitness,” the obituary states. “Drew lived by the motto ‘Never Falter, Never Quit’. He was a leader in every sense of the word and now provides ‘overwatch’ for all of his brothers.”

In lieu of flows, memorial contributions may be made to APK Charities or Duskin & Stephens Foundation under his name. Both are military charities that support the Special Operations community.

According to Ross' father, he indicated he was traveling Thursday, Nov. 29 to “bring Drew home tonight."

“Stephen was extremely proud of his son, and still is,” said William Morley, Ross' father’s coworker.

Elchin was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The incident remains under investigation.

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