The first U.S. military casualty of President Donald Trump's presidency is from Peoria.
The Department of Defense said 36-year-old Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens was killed Jan. 28 in the Arabian Peninsula of Yemen of wounds sustained in a raid against Al-Qaeda. An estimated 14 members of Al-Qaeda were killed in the operation.
In a statement issued Sunday, President Trump said Americans were saddened by the death of a service member in the fight against "the evil of radical Islamic terrorism."
"The sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces, and the families they leave behind, are the backbone of the liberty we hold so dear as Americans, united in our pursuit of a safer nation and a freer world," said Trump. "My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member."
Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he is offering condolences to the family and shipmates of Owens.
"Ryan gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service. The United States would not long exist were it not for the selfless commitment of such warriors," said Mattis.
Owens was a Navy SEAL. He enlisted in 1998 and earned the Bronze Star three times.
Owens was assigned to an East Coast based special warfare unit.