He served in the Persian Gulf as a decorated United States Marine.  He responded and served during the 9/11 horror at the World Trade Center site.  He was trained as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  He was a member of the New York State Police (NYSP) for 17 years.  Wednesday he died doing a job he loved. 

44-year-old Ross Riley died while training at Letchworth State Park as a member of the  Special Operations Response Team (SORT) for the State Police.  I have many friends who are members of the NYSP who now mourn the loss of a comrade.  I know this affects them deeply and I feel for them.  In fact, law enforcement is a wide ranging family who has lost a brother, people who leave their home in the morning to serve and protect, all while knowing they may never return to that home.  Sadly this came true for the Riley family Wednesday. By all accounts Trooper Ross Riley was a good man, dedicated to the job he performed so well, the country he loved and served with honor and distinction, and a young family at the home he will never enter again. 

All cops and first responders feel this loss, none more that Trooper Riley's wife Heidi who is also a State Trooper based in Olean.  She now is also sadly a widow, a mother left to explain the loss of a dad to her three daughters ages 10, 8 and 3.  God bless them and the memory of US Marine and NY State Trooper Ross M. Riley.