Georgia citizen-soldier killed in Afghanistan

ATLANTA — The Army says a citizen-soldier in the Georgia National Guard has been killed in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon announced Monday that 1st Sgt. John D. Blair of Calhoun died Saturday after a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle. Blair was deployed with the Georgia Guard’s 48th Brigade. He was assigned to the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry based in Lawrenceville.

National Guard spokesman Ken Baldowski says the 38-year-old Blair was the fourth member of the brigade killed since its soldiers began arriving in Afghanistan in May. More than 2,000 guardsmen from the Georgia brigade have deployed to Afghanistan to help train the country’s police and security forces.

In a statement, Gov. Sonny Perdue called Blair a “brave and courageous leader.”