Sunday, May 15, 2011

Army Spc. Brian D. Riley Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Army Spc. Brian D. Riley Jr., 24, of Longwood, Fla.

Spc. Riley was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, died May 15, 2011 of unspecified causes in Kunar province, Afghanistan.

The DOD lists Longwood, Florida as Riley's home. He's originally from Binghamton, New York and still has family there.

Spc Riley joined the army in 2008 as an Infantryman.

Binghamton High School Principal Albert Penna said Riley was a "student in good standing" while at the school. Penna also stated that Riley attended Binghamton High School for his freshman and sophomore years, transferring to Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, Fla., in February 2004.

Marcia Cole, friend of the family, keeps a scrap book of Specialist Brian Riley, someone who she loved with all her heart. "Brian was my hero when he first came down to Florida."

She considers herself an adopted grandmother to the 24 year old who felt it was important to serve his country. "He said boys and girls his age, especially the young ones, needed to keep our freedom so his little girl could stay safe and free and that's why he went."

Marcia says Brian was an incredible father to his little girl Trinity. "He came home whenever he could, he spent every moment he could with her. He took her places, bought her things."

Upon receiving the news that Brian had died, she said, "It was like all the air was sucked out of me". She will miss what she calls his magnetic personality, "his smile, his hugs, his compassion, his love. He was so full of life and he was so proud and I won't see him again." She says he will always be her hero.

Spc. Riley's awards and decorations include:

Army Commendation Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Combat Infantryman's Badge

Spc Riley is survived by his father, Brian Sr., as well as a brother and sisters.

Army Spc. Brian D. Riley Jr. died in Afghanistan on 5/15/11.

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