Sunday, May 27, 2018

600 Miles of Remembrance: Dillon Honors SOCS Ryan Owens

600 Miles of Remembrance: Dillon Honors SOCS Ryan Owens

“This 600 Miles of Remembrance is all about Ryan and hopefully we can bring home another win for him,” said Dillon. 


600 Miles of Remembrance: Dillon Honors SOCS Ryan Owens #NASCAR

Austin Dillon picked up his first career win in the Coca-Cola 600 last year, leading only two laps. Among them, the most important one: the last lap.

When Austin Dillon drove to Victory Lane in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he carried the name of Special Warfare Operator First Class SEAL Joshua T. Harris. This year, Dillon looks to deliver the same honor to U.S. Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator William Ryan Owens of Peoria, Illinois.

“I have always loved the 600 Miles of Remembrance program that we do during Coca-Cola 600 weekend. Having a fallen military service member on your car and ride with you is so special,” said Dillon.

“Last year, winning my first Coca-Cola 600 and having Joshua Harris on the windshield of the car and having his family there. Coming home to Victory Lane with Joshua Harris on the car, I really felt like he was riding with us through those whole 600 miles,” said Dillon. “This year we have Navy SEAL Ryan Owens on the windshield of the No. 3 Coca-Cola Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and I am looking forward to hopefully meeting some of his family members,” he said.

Dillion will start the Coca-Cola 600 from position twelve on the grid. He is seventh in the regular season points and sixth in the playoff standings.

U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens

The U.S. Navy SEAL was killed on January 29, 2017 while supporting U.S. Central Command operations against al-Qaida in Yemen. There were three other service members wounded in the raid that took Owens’ life. Reports estimated 14 members of al-Qaida were also killed in the raid.

U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens #NASCAROwens was the first casualty of Donald Trump’s presidency, who traveled to Dover Air Force base in Dover, Delaware to honor the return of his remains.

“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said in a White House press release that day. “My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member.”

Owens was a highly decorated SEAL who was on his fifth team tour when he was killed. He earned numerous awards in addition to the SEAL Trident and Basic Parachutist wings:
  • Navy/Marine Corps Medal
  • Bronze Star w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
  • Bronze Star
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
  • Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards)
  • Joint Service Achievement Medal Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards)
  • Combat Action Ribbon Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2 awards)
  • Good Conduct Medal (6 awards)
  • Presidential Unit Citation (3 awards)
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8 awards)

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