Fallen Soldier: William R. Owens

William R. Owens
Dates: Died January 29, 2017
Hometown: Peoria, IL
Branch of Service: Navy (SEAL)
Rank: Chief Petty Officer
Player: Daniel Svard

CPO William Ryan Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, died January 29, 2017, of wounds received in the Yakla raid on an Al Queda compound in Yemen during the Yemeni Civil War.

A native of Peoria, IL, CPO Owens was a 1998 graduate of Illinois Valley Central High School. He enlisted in the Navy in 1998. After initially training as a cryptologic technician (communications), he served his initial tour of duty at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland, Maryland, before attending basic and advanced SEAL training in Coronado, CA, completing training in December 2002. He was initially deployed with SEAL Team 1.

Naval Special Warfare Command confirmed CPO Owens was assigned to the East Coast-based Special Warfare unit, SEAL Team 6. He was on his fifth team tour when he was killed. He'd been with that unit just over two years.

The Owens family were all dedicated to serving their country. His parents worked at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, where his father was a policeman and a military veteran while his mother was a detective. One of Owens' brothers retired from the Navy SEALs and the other brother works for the Hollywood Police Department.