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Piedmont soldier returns from Afghanistan

Ryan Anderson

Sgt. Ryan Anderson and two buddies pause for breakfast on a mission in Panjwaii (Southern Kandahar) Afghanistan while with the Afghan National Army.

BY ROGER PUGH
publisher@piedmontnewsonline.com

After spending a year in Afghanistan, Piedmont soldier Sgt. Ryan Anderson returned home to a warm welcome from family and friends last Friday.

The grass at the front yard entrance to the home of Anderson’s parents was painted with a giant red, white and blue American Flag and next to it was a giant message painted in white proclaiming “Welcome Home Ryan.”

Sgr. Anderson is a 2003 graduate of Piedmont High School and the son of Carter and Denise Anderson.

After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2008 with a degree in Industrial Safety, Sgt. Anderson joined the Army in 2010. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 as a part of the Infantry.

While in that country, he said his job was to go on patrol, talk with the natives and perform counter insurgency.

“It was definitely a nerve wracking experience any time we were on patrol,” he said of his assignment.

“It was kind of like dribble, shoot and hope it goes in,” he explained.

He did say he believed his outfit’s deployment gave many in that troubled country many opportunities they would not otherwise have had.

For example, he said the Canadian soldiers his unit replaced had built some schools, but the enemy had managed to shut those schools down. By the time Sgt. Anderson’s group left, that school, and another nearby school had been reopened and about 100 young Afghanis were able to return to pursue an education.

Welcome Home

Ryan Anderson’s family spray painted this welcome home message along side Piedmont Rd. before Anderson returned home last week.

He also noted that while he was there, many markets, shut down by the Taliban, had reopened and new ones were also springing up in nearby villages.

“We gave a lot of people opportunities,” he observed.

Sgt. Anderson will be home until July 1, and then will report back to his home base at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska where he will help train up the next soldiers who will be deployed.

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