ABU DHABI– A sailor from Illinois has died overseas, according to the Department of Defense.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan D. Burris, 24, of Lisle, died May 21, in Abu Dhabi, UAE, of a non-combat related incident at Zayed Military City as he was helping to support Operation Inherent Resolve—that is the fight against ISIS.
He was temporarily assigned to the Crisis Response Element of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, Special Operations Command Central, U.S. Central Command, according to the Department of Defense.
His mother says it was Ryan’s first deployment, that he always wanted to be in the military and that he found a place he belonged—in the Navy.
She also says that while her heart is broken, she’s happy to know that her son died doing important work that he loved.
The family’s home has a flag out front– Ryan’s mom wears a navy pendant around her neck.
They say the Navy has been incredibly helpful to them as they deal with this. They’re surrounded by family members right now.
What’s missing are a lot of the details, beginning with how their son died— that is still under investigation. All we know right now is that it was not combat-related.
The Navy is preparing to fly the Burris family to Dover once their son’s remains are returned from the UAE to the United States.
They’ll accompany him home and plan to lay their son to rest here in Chicagoland, where he grew up.