DOD identifies sailor who died in UAE
The Department of Defense has identified an American sailor who died in a noncombat-related incident in the United Arab Emirates last week.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan D. Burris, 24, of Lisle, Ill., died in Abu Dhabi on Thursday following an incident at the UAE military base Zayed Military City, according to a DOD release issued Tuesday. Details of the incident have not been released.
Burris was temporarily assigned to the Crisis Response Element of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, part of U.S. Special Operations Command forces in the Middle East.
His work fell under Operation Inherent Resolve, the American-led effort to defeat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. U.S. forces involved in the operation are working out of several Gulf countries, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE.
Family members told the Chicago Tribune that Burris was on his first overseas deployment since joining the Navy in 2012. An athlete in high school, he followed family tradition by joining the military. His father and uncle both served in the Army, according to the Tribune, and a cousin had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.
“[T]his is always what he’s wanted to do,” Burris’ mother, Karen Burris, told the Tribune. “He wanted to follow his dreams, and I was with him 100 percent.”