If you watched President Trump’s address to Congress last week, you undoubtedly took note of the evening’s most emotional moment, when he recognized Carryn Owens. Who is Carryn Owens, and how about learning a little more about her?
- Carryn was invited to be a guest at the speech on January 30, the day after her husband was killed. Navy SEAL William (“Ryan”) Owens lost his life while participating in a raid on an Al-Qaeda target in Yemen. His death was the first combat casualty to occur during the Trump Presidency. According to White House records, the President told Mrs. Owens, “If you feel comfortable, I would love to have you as a guest.” Understandably overwhelmed at that point, Carryn hesitated. An aide followed up with her, and she later accepted.
- Carryn and Ryan Owens have three children, and Ryan has two children from a previous marriage. Ryan would have turned 37 this week. He had spent more than half his life in the Navy, and he was in SEAL training when 9/11 occurred. He had had 12 deployments.
- Carryn’s name was left off the list of guests attending the speech, in an attempt to lessen media attention on her. Her age, as well as the names and ages of their children, have not been disclosed.
- Carryn had the honor of sitting in the First Lady’s box at the speech. She sat behind First Lady Melania Trump and next to First Daughter Ivanka Kushner.
- Ryan’s father (Carryn’s father-in-law), Bill Owens, had reservations about his son’s final mission. He did not want to meet with the President following his son’s death. Bill Owens himself is a military veteran, having served in the Navy and Army Reserves.