Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens will be remembered for a lot of things. He was a Peoria, Illinois native, a member of the Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL Team 6, a recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, a three-time recipient of the Bronze Star Medal (two of which included the “V” for Valor, signifying heroism while in combat), and an all-around nice guy.

Ryan first enlisted in the military in 1998 and has been “assigned to East Coast-based special warfare units since 2007,” according to PilotOnline.com.

Over the weekend, Ryan Owens was killed during a raid on al-Qaida base in Yemen. Three service members were also wounded while completing the mission. A fourth U.S. service member was injured when a military aircraft assisting in the mission had a “hard landing” nearby, according to U.S. Central Command. Fourteen adversaries were killed in combat.

Navy and Marine Corps Medal

Awarded for “distinguishing oneself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy of the United States.” Wikipedia

Bronze Medal

Awarded for “distinguishing oneself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy of the United States.” Wikipedia

“His death reminds us all of the constant dangers of our profession, and the very real threats to our nation,” said Commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command Tim Szymanski in a statement released on Monday.

The United States would not long exist were it not for the selfless commitment of such warriors.”
– Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

Locally, a Virginia Beach resident described him as “always a nice guy.” Ryan will certainly be missed but he will never be forgotten for his unwavering commitment to his profession and this great country. Commander Szymanski also stated that Ryan was an “exceptional SEAL who served silently, nobly, and bravely through several combat deployments.”

Let’s keep Ryan and his family’s sacrifice in our hearts and continue to remember him for his nobility, contributions, service, bravery, will, and strong character.

For more information on what ADS’ own Karan Rai had to say as a keynote speaker to the recent 2016 Honor Foundation graduating class—comprised of SEALs and Special Forces members—as they transition to civilian world, click here

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