Sergeant Antonio Gardner of the 729th Quartermaster Composite Supply Company, Maryland National Guard, 2014-2021, was killed in a motorcycle accident on October 8.
Gardner was a petroleum supply specialist, deployed last year to Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. His unit provided logistical support within the U.S. European Command area of operations. In January, he was activated to support the state of Maryland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and served on active orders until last month. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant. His fellow soldiers and leaders expressed their heartfelt sadness at the loss.
Gardner was awarded both the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal twice. He also received the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Overseas Service Ribbon for his nine-month deployment to Kuwait with the 29th Division Detachment.
LCC Kare 9 Military Ministry Dogs and their veteran handlers were asked to visit with the Maryland Army National Guard soldiers on Saturday, October 16. The soldiers spent this time together to remember and grieve the loss of their friend and fellow soldier, Sergeant Antonio Gardner.
The soldiers are experiencing Antonio’s loss deeply and are going through different emotions: shock, sadness, anger, and confusion. These brave men and women are trained to face many challenges and losses when deployed, but this loss was not one they expected.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
Four LCC K-9 Ministry teams from New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maryland traveled to Maryland Army National Guard to share the mercy, compassion, and presence of Jesus Christ with the soldiers after their devastating loss.
The team also brought a purple Hearts of Mercy & Compassion in honor of Sergeant Gardner for the soldiers to sign and share messages. Chaplain Woolsey will give the signed heart to Antonio Gardner’s family.
We pray for God’s courage, strength, and peace for these brave men and women as they continue to serve our country with the Maryland Army National Guard.