Legislators move to honor Illinoisan killed in Afghanistan operation
A portion of Illinois Route 78 between Canton and Farmington would be designated "Sgt. Douglas Riney Memorial Highway" under a resolution that passed the General Assembly recently, according to a press release.
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria), House Joint Resolution 43 would honor the Spoon River Valley High grad who died on Oct. 19, 2016, in Kabul, Afghanistan, while on a mission to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Riney entered active service in July 2012 as a petroleum supply specialist and since December 2012 had been a member of the Support Squadron, Third Calvary Regiment, First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. He had been deployed from July 2014 to February 2015 for Operation Enduring Freedom and from June 2016 to October 2016 for Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
Highly decorated, Riney received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, four Army Achievements Medals, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon and NATO Medal.
“Our state and country is safer today because of the sacrifices made by Sgt. Riney and his family,” Unes said, according to the release. “[He] served on missions in the past that continue to preserve our freedom we cherish today. Designating a portion of Illinois Route 78 the ‘Sgt. Douglas Riney Memorial Highway’ will ensure we never forget the heroism and sacrifice endured by Sgt. Riney.”