---- — U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ryan Grochmal, a 2011 graduate of the University of New Hampshire and a 2007 graduate of Pinkerton Academy, returned in early September from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The longtime Derry resident served as the 2nd platoon leader and convoy commander within the 359th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, which provided convoy security for retrograde operations within the Regional Command East.
He led 17 missions, logging more than 6,000 miles initiated from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, as part of the NATO military drawdown of Operation Enduring Freedom.
As the result of his duties and leadership, Grochmal earned the Army Achievement medal, NATO ISAF Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge, for actively being engaged by the enemy, and the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service for providing effective communication, coordination and leadership while responding to an Improvised Explosive Device attack on his convoy.
He is currently stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News, Va.