(WSVN) - A Navy SEAL who grew up in South Florida was killed in a raid in Yemen one year ago. But his father says he still hasn’t gotten answers about the controversial mission. 7’s Brian Entin has our exclusive report — A Father’s Fight.
President Donald Trump: “We will never forget Ryan.”
It was the moment in President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress that gripped the nation.
A standing ovation for the widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens who was shot and killed during a raid in Yemen.
Bill Owens, Navy SEAL son killed in raid: “You can see the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Silver Star…”
Ryan’s dad Bill Owens remembers the knock on his door the morning of Jan. 29, 2017.
Naval officers were outside his Lauderdale-by-the-Sea home.
Bill Owens: “It just kind of sunk in before I even got to the door that it was Ryan … and something had happened to him.”
Almost one year later, Bill says he still has almost no information from the Pentagon about how and why his son died.
Bill Owens: “I wanted to know what went into the planning, what went into the actions on the ground, and why my son was killed nine days after the Inauguration.”
Ryan was part of the elite SEAL Team 6 — sent on a secret anti-terrorism raid in a small village in southern Yemen.
The mission was to gather intelligence on Al-Qaeda, but Owens was killed.
Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, Feb. 8, 2017: “The action that was taken in Yemen was a huge success. American lives will be saved because of it.”
During the raid, civilians were killed and an expensive American aircraft was lost.
Brian Entin: “And what did you think when the Trump Administration called it a success?”
Bill Owens: “It’s ridiculous. They don’t want to sit there and admit that the first operation of President Trump’s Administration was a huge failure.”
Ryan’s death quickly turned political.
Bill refused to meet the president when his son’s body returned home.
Bill Owens: “I thought, ‘Why? Why does he have to come here when this is for us, for Ryan.'”
This former Fort Lauderdale Police officer is now supportive of lawsuits, trying to force the government to release records.
Bill Owens: “They were fighting to save their lives, to get out of there, and they were ambushed. There was just a horrendous fire fight.”
So many of the details of that fight are still a secret.
Ryan’s dad is determined to know the full story.
Bill Owens: “He was always smiling, incredible personality. Anybody that knew him misses him. You can’t get over it.”
Bill Owens continues to grieve from his Lauderdale-by-the-Sea home as his quest for information goes on. We know the military is sill investigating what went wrong during the raid.
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