RCSD holds 11th annual Ryan Rawl Memorial Workout
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The Richland County Sheriff’s Department held its 11th annual Ryan Rawl Memorial Workout on Tuesday morning by the SC State House.
First lieutenant Ryan Rawl died in 2012 at the age of 30 while serving with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan.
Sheriff Leon Lott says he promised Ryan’s mother that Ryan would never be forgotten, and the group workout is one way the department chooses to honor him each year.
His parents Diane and Stanley say Ryan was a Christian, dedicated father of two children, and would’ve enjoyed the day’s exercises.
“He was very athletic. Very generous, generous to a fault. Just a friend to everybody. He had a great sense of humor, so he was always playing jokes,” says Diane Rawl.
Sheriff Leon Lott says he also remembers Ryan’s sense of humor, his smile, and his dedication.
“Well I remember when Ryan wrote me a memo, saying that after September 11th, that he had to go, that he wanted to join the National Guard. And I gave him my blessing. And we hang that (memo) up in our gym. And that’s hanging in our gym for everybody to see — just the patriotism that Ryan had,” Lott says.
Ryan’s parents believe today’s workout is more of a celebration of not only Ryan but of all the men and women who have died while serving America.
“It would be a terrible loss to just sit and grieve all the time. You have to carry on. He would’ve carried on,” says Stanley Rawl.
“Well you heal by serving others. We found that out you know. After we could get ourselves back up and move on, we found out you gotta serve others. You gotta help others,” says Diane Rawl.
According to the sheriff’s department, proceeds from this year’s event will go to The Big Red Barn Retreat — which services Veterans and First Responders.
“We lost one but we gained… I think there’s 900 in the sheriff’s department,” Stanley Rawl jokes, before saying, “You know, there’s a void there that will never be filled obviously…But, we have a huge family now. ”