Ryan Rawl’s mother Diane is happy that Richland County deputies are living up to their promise to remember her late son’s sacrifice.
“They’ve kept their word about that,” she said. “It means a lot.”
Their dedication will be on display again Monday at the annual Warrior Challenge named for the deputy killed in 2012 while on military duty in Afghanistan.
Those taking part in the event on the 4th of July will join deputies in exercises on the State House grounds in downtown Columbia. Proceeds benefit scholarships in memory of Ryan Rawl.
His mother, other family members and friends with be there either to participate or cheer on those taking part. “I love seeing everyone again,” she said.
Lott’s promised that her family will part of his team’s circle. “He’s kept up with us,” Diane Rawl said.
In particular, Lott “always lets us know he’s thinking of us that day” on June 20, the anniversary of her son’s death, she said.
Ryan Rawl was a deputy for seven years who worked on patrol and as a school resource officer.
Lott kept a letter sent by Rawl asking for the sheriff’s approval for a 10-week leave of absence for South Carolina National Guard basic training.
“I feel it is my duty to serve my country,” The Citadel graduate’s request said. “I would greatly appreciate you honoring my request.”
“OK,” Lott wrote at the bottom in reply. “Proud of you for joining.”
Rawl was commanding a military police platoon operating a checkpoint when he and two others were killed by a suicide bomber.
His family often leaves their 160-acre farm near Pelion to attend events commemorating him and his accomplishments over 30 years, she said.
“We still miss him,” his mother said. “I don’t think we’ll ever get over that.”
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483
If you go
Taking part of the challenge commemorating Ryan Rawl costs $25.
It starts at 8 a.m. Monday at the State House, with workout levels tailored individually.
To register, call (803) 576-3491 or online at email@example.com.