The July 4 event will honor fallen soldier and RCSD deputy Ryan Rawl
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Registration is open for the 11th-annual RYAN RAWL MEMORIAL WORKOUT to be held Tuesday, July 4, at the S.C. State House in Columbia. Hosted and facilitated by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), the Independence Day event begins at 8:00 a.m. sharp and will feature station-to-station running and exercises based on the Crossfit model and various military-law-enforcement physical fitness regimens.
“We’re doing this on the morning of Independence Day as we have for the past 10 years as a way to honor and remember our own [RCSD] Deputy and S.C. Army National Guard officer
Ryan Rawl,” says Sheriff Lott. “It’s a special kickoff to all Independence Day celebrations in the Midlands, and through this, Ryan and his family will never be forgotten; not as long as I’m the sheriff.”
A former Lexington High School football player and wrestler who later graduated from The Citadel, Rawl began serving RCSD in 2005. In 2006, he also received his U.S. Army commission in the S.C. Army National Guard.
On June 20, 2012, Rawl was temporarily detached from duties back home as an RCSD school resource officer and deployed as a 1st lieutenant serving with the Guard’s 133 rd. Military Police Company, when tragedy struck. He and other soldiers were manning a security checkpoint at a crowded market in Khost, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, when both the checkpoint and the market were attacked by a suicide bomber.
The ensuing blast killed Rawl and fellow soldier Sgt. John David Meador II, also of Lexington
(who served with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Dept.), and Sgt. 1st Class Matthew B. Thomas of Travelers Rest. Five other Americans were seriously wounded, and 21 Afghans were killed with scores more wounded.
As it was and is for all gold-star families, it was a devastating loss for the Rawls, whose
matriarch, Mrs. Diane Rawl, feared “Ryan might one day be forgotten.”
Not so, says Lott, who directed that his department establish the first-ever Ryan Rawl Memorial Workout event. That first event was held July 4, 2013, and events since have
included station-to-station workouts – similar to the one being held this year – as well as
previous 5K Freedom Runs and a Kids Fun Run.
The cost for this year’s Ryan Rawl Memorial Workout is $25 based on the two-partner team fee of $50. All proceeds benefit The Big Red Barn Retreat programs.
– To register for the Ryan Rawl Memorial Workout, please visit Strictly Running at