Madison County

‘We mourn the loss of our brother-in-arms.’ Richmond soldier deployed in Iraq dies

Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley
Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley Provided by the 101st Airborne Division

The Department of Defense has identified a U.S. Army soldier who died over the weekend in Iraq as a man from Richmond.

Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley, 22, died Saturday in the Ninawa province, according to the announcement Sunday. He was serving in the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell.

Riley died in a “non-combat related incident” that is now under investigation, according to the Department of Defense.

Riley was a fire control specialist, according to 101st Airborne Division spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin L. O’Donnell. He arrived in Iraq in December for his first deployment, O’Donnell said.

Riley had been recognized with the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Korea Defense Service Medal, among others, O’Donnell said. He enlisted in October of 2016 and was promoted to the rank of specialist in October of 2018.

“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,” said Col. Derek Thomson of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborn Division. “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.”

The loss of a loved one can take a physical and emotional toll on you. Grief can produce stress in your body. The process can be different for everyone, and people may even experience “complicated grief." Learn more here.

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