VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Across the nation, people are paying tribute to 36-year-old William "Ryan" Owens, a locally-based Navy SEAL killed in action over the weekend.
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants catcher, posted a tribute on his Instagram account, saying he met Owens and his son back in 2012.
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Sadly, Javier Lopez relayed the news to me today that Ryan Owens had been killed in Yemen while serving our country. Ryan was a member of Seal Team 6 and a big Giants fan. He would come to spring training frequently and I had the honor of meeting him and his son in 2012. For me, it is easy to take for granted the life that my family and I get to live everyday. Words don't do justice for the gratitude that I have for people like Ryan that sacrifice their lives fighting against evil, so that we may live with freedom. Unfortunately for Ryan's family, they lost a husband and a father this weekend. I can't imagine the pain they must be going through. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. Ryan Owens was a hero that is gone way too soon.
"Words don't do justice for the gratitude that I have for people like Ryan that sacrifice their lives fighting against evil, so that we may live with freedom," Posey wrote.
Owens died from wounds suffered during a raid against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula of Yemen on Sunday morning. Three other American service members were hurt during the raid.
This morning, on the House floor, Congressman Scott Taylor, a retired Navy SEAL, spoke about Owens' death, reciting the words of Andrew Stumpf.
In a Skype interview, Congressman Taylor tells News 3 that he did not personally know Owens, but many of his friends did.
"It makes you understand very vividly that we’re still in the fight, our people are still there, and our community, Hampton Roads, still has men and women that are forward of course all around the world," he says.
Owens' family is expected to head to Dover for an off-ramp ceremony in the coming days.
The military sent News 3 a statement from the Owens' family:
"The Owens' family would like to extend their gratitude to the community for their interest in their beloved Ryan. He was a devoted father, a true professional and a wonderful husband. While they appreciate your interest, they ask for their privacy."