CPO ROwenseSPRINGFIELD – Illinois Route 29 will have a new name in the Chillicothe city limits after a resolution was passed by the Illinois Senate today. The highway will now be named the “Senior Chief Petty Officer William ‘Ryan’ Owens Memorial Highway”.

The resolution renaming the highway, Senate Joint Resolution 35, was sponsored by Peoria County’s two state Senators, Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) and Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria).

“Senior Chief Owens will be remembered forever as a dedicated and selfless hero,” Koehler said. “His service in the Navy SEALs was nothing short of exemplary and will serve as a model of heroism for decades to come.”

Senior Chief Petty officer William ‘Ryan’ Owens was a Navy SEAL killed during a raid in Yemen in January 2017. Senior Chief Owens enlisted in the Navy in 1998, the same year he graduated from Illinois Valley Central High School in Chillicothe.

A decorated SEAL, Senior Chief Owens was the recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, the Joint Service Achievement medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, six Good Conduct Medals and three Presidential Unit Citations.

Additionally, Senior Chief Owens was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Somalia in 2015. Owens had been leading a twelve-man team alongside friendly African forces deep inside war torn Somalia when their unit was ambushed. Senior Chief Owens repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire, eventually securing a town that had been in enemy hands for ten years.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120