Kentucky Soldier Dies in Iraq

An area soldier’s remains are back in the states and a community is reeling Tuesday night following the news.

The department of defense confirms a Ft. Campbell soldier died overseas. 22-year-old Spc. Ryan Riley of Richmond, KY died Saturday during a non-combat related incident.

The remains of Spc. Riley arrived Tuesday morning at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. It’s the loss of a soldier, who many are continuing to grieve.

A life taken too soon.

The American Flag draped over a soldier who is arriving home.

“The biggest low is definitely when you lose someone,” said Spc. William Mullins.

According to the Department of Defense, Spc. Ryan Riley died Saturday during a non-combat related incident. Stationed at Fort Campbell, Spc. Riley was deployed to Iraq last December. It was his first deployment.

“I feel more or less angry about it,” said Spc. Mullins. “It’s a weird mixture of anger and sadness to say the least.”

The 101st Airborne Division Spokesperson says, Spc. Riley enlisted in the service Oct. 2016 and was promoted to the rank of Specialist in Oct. 2018.

“It’s what we signed up for. It’s part of the job, so we’re doing our service and everything,” said Pvt. Joshua Kennedy.

Riley was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team and the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell.

“Dedicated service. Be humble. Have integrity,” said Pvt. Kennedy. “Always do the right thing even when no one is looking.”

Honored in many ways, Spc. Riley received many awards and decorations including the National Defense Service Medal and The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Col. Derek Thomson, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) commander says, “We are deeply saddened by Ryan’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family as together we mourn the loss of our brother-in-arms. As we grieve this tragic loss, we will also draw strength from his memory as his mates continue to build the capacity of the Iraqi Army and enable the defeat of ISIS.”

Officials say the incident remains under investigation. Gov. Matt Bevin is ordering flags at state facilities to fly at half-staff on the day of his burial from sunrise to sunset.

That exact date is still pending.



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