Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A Richland County deputy killed in action in Afghanistan was recognized Friday by a graduating class at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
Ryan Rawl died on June 20 of this year while serving his country as a first lieutenant with the South Carolina National Guard.
Rawl also had served with the Richland County Sheriff's Department for seven years.
During the graduation ceremony, Rawl's family accepted a plaque which will be displayed at the justice academy.
"I just hope that they [other officers] would take some of the same qualities that Ryan [had] and what they were talking about in the graduation, about integrity and honor and just living your life and living it to the fullest," said his widow, Catherine Rawl.
"He was dedicated to the Richland County Sheriff's Department but also to his country, and I think that's what made him[who he was]," said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. "He didn't have to go to war; he volunteered to go to war. He volunteered to go in the National Guard because he felt like that was a calling--a duty that he had to be a deputy sheriff and also to be a soldier."
Deputy Rawl began his career with the Richland Sheriff's Department in 2005 after graduating from the Citadel in 2004.