KIA Iraq soldier will be honored on highway

Friends and family of a Keizer soldier killed in Iraq in 2007 will hold a dedication ceremony and unveiling of a highway sign to be posted in his honor on Saturday, June 22. 

Pfc. Ryan J. Hill will have a stretch of Oregon highway dedicated in his honor after the Oregon Legislature approved the action earlier this year. Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark and Rep. Bill Post will be delivering speeches during the ceremony slated for 11:30 a.m. the park named after him in Keizer Station. Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park is located next to Panera Bread. 

Hill was driving a Humvee on Jan. 20, 2007, when an improvised explosive device detonated (IED) near the vehicle. He was serving his first tour in Iraq when he was killed at age 20. The vehicle’s gunner was also critically injured. 

Post co-sponsored the resolution with Rep. Julie Fahey of West Eugene/Junction City. 

Hill served with Charlie Company in Adhamiya, Iraq. At the time, the area was heavy with insurgents, and the locals were paying a steep price. Caught in the middle of warring factions, some 10 to 20 villagers a day were reportedly being killed as Sunni and Shiite waged war against each other.

Hill’s sense of duty took him to Iraq after graduating from the Oregon National Guard