A Lexington native killed in Afghanistan this week came from a military family with deep community ties.
Army Capt. Andrew Ross would call loved ones whenever he was sent out on assignments, recalled David Miller, a teacher and coach at Rockbridge County High School, from which Ross graduated.
“Drew knew what the life was, and he knew early on he was going to be a serviceman,” Miller said. “When you choose that life and you go into special forces, you know what your risks are, and Drew didn’t shy away from that.”
On Tuesday, Ross, 29, was among three servicemen killed in Andar, Ghazni Province, when their vehicle was hit with an explosive device, officials said Wednesday.
Ross was the son of Stephen Ross, a graduate of and ex-soccer coach at Virginia Military Institute. His great-uncle, Miller said, was Bobby Ross, a VMI alumnus who once coached the San Diego Chargers to the Super Bowl. “We are all travelling today to bring Drew home tonight,” Stephen Ross said on Facebook on Thursday. “Words will never express the love and respect I have for my son, he was a man among men and he stood for all that makes this country the greatest ever.”
Ross graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2011, one year after Chase Prasnicki, a fellow Rockbridge County High graduate who was killed by an IED in Afghanistan in 2012. Bobby Ross had recruited Prasnicki, who played football, to West Point.
Ross was a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, known as the Green Berets, and was on his second overseas tour at the time of the attack. He had been assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C.