Riley G. Stephens

     Riley was born Aug 26, 1973 and raised in Tolar, TX. While in school he excelled in UIL, football and FFA. During his football days his team went all state. He played Center and Defensive End as number 66 for Tolar High School. During his time in the FFA he raised champion goats and hogs. He graduated in 1991 salutatorian of his class. He loved horses and dogs and helping his friends. Riley always said it’s all about family and family didn’t only mean blood. Following High school he was an EMT at the age of 18 with the Tolar Volunteer Fire Dept. when he enlisted he kept his EMT license and eventually became a Medic. Riley Stephens joined the military in 1993.

     Stephens enlisted as an infantryman in the U.S. Army. Upon completion of his initial training, he was assigned to 1st Bn., 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Ky. There he served as a squad automatic weapon gunner, radio-telephone operator and team leader with Company B. His next assignment was with the 1st Bn., 17th Inf. Reg., Fort Wainwright, Alaska, where he served as a Scout Section Leader.

     Stephens volunteered for the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course, and would graduate from the Special Forces Qualification Course in March 2005. Upon earning his Special Forces tab, he reported to the 1st Bn., 3rd SFG (A) as a Special Forces medical sergeant. He would serve on five separate deployments to Afghanistan with the 1st Bn.   

     His military education includes U.S. Army Air Assault School, U.S. Army Airborne School, Warrior Leader’s Course, Advanced Leader’s Course, Senior Leader’s Course, Hostage Negotiation Course, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course, Special Operations Target Interdiction Course, U.S. Army Ranger School and the Special Forces Qualification Course.

     Stephens’ military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor Device, four Army Commendation Medal, four Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon Military, two Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbons, the NATO Medal, Air Assault Badge, the Basic Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Ranger Tab and the Special Forces Tab.

          Sgt. 1st Class Riley G. Stephens, 39, of Tolar, Texas, died Sept. 28, 2012 of wounds received from small-arms fire in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. He is survived by his three children (Austin 21, Morgan 11, Rylee Ann 6), mother, father and brother.

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