Three Troops from The Connecticut Foot Guard recently participated in a 5K Run for The APK Charities Direct Assistance Program which was founded in memory of Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel. Captain Pedersen-Keel was a Special Forces Commander who was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan. The Charity was created by the parents of Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel to provide recognition and support for wounded & fallen soldiers’ and their families.
Captain Pedersen-Keel became a Special Forces Soldier after passing the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2011. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group and was assigned as Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) Commander of 3126 when it deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.
On the morning of March 11, 2013, Captain Andrew Michael Pedersen-Keel was concluding a patrol briefing when a 20 year-old Afghan jumped into the back of an Afghan police pickup truck, grabbed the machine gun mounted on the truck bed, and mowed down the Special Forces team. Andrew was mortally wounded.
Also killed was Staff Sgt. Rex Schad, 26, of Oklahoma and the team’s Military working dog, BAK. Our troops were betrayed by a purported brother-in-arms, an Afghan National Policeman in the Jalrez District of Wardak Province. Wardak is a strategic location at the southern gateway to Kabul. It is a violent nest of insurgency with a very rugged mountain terrain. Special Forces teams are striving to improve the training and mentoring of the Afghan police and military as well as to help achieve a breakthrough for local governance. At the time of his death, Captain Pedersen-Keel was deeply involved in training the Afghan Army as part of the transition plan for U.S. withdrawal.
The Three Connecticut Foot Guard volunteers who participated in the run were Corporal Erskine, Sergeant Franco, & Private Mills. They made the run with their military ruck sacks in Honor of this American Hero, Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel.
This morning CPL Erskine, SGT Franco, & PVT Mills took part in the 9th Annual APK 5K Run/Ruck in memory of Capt Andrew Pedersen-Keel.Proceeds from this year’s event will be used to provide support for the APK Charities Direct Assistance Program. This program is designed to provide direct financial and other support services to service members and their families, who are in need of emergency or hardship assistance.Well done Grenadiers!