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Buster Posey honors memory of Navy SEAL killed in Yemen (pic)

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey on Monday night took to Instagram to post a heartfelt tribute to Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, a Navy SEAL who died over the weekend in Yemen.

Owens was killed during an intelligence-gathering raid on al Qaeda militants when his aircraft experienced a “hard landing,” according to Pentagon officials per an NBC News report.

Posey had gotten to know Owens, a passionate Giants fan, a few years ago. The memory of their encounters — especially at the team’s spring training facilities in Arizona — prompted Posey to post the touching tribute.

A photo posted by Buster Posey (@busterposey) on

“Sadly, Javier Lopez relayed the news to me today that Ryan Owens had been killed in Yemen while serving our country,” Posey wrote in the post. “Ryan was a member of Seal Team 6 and a big Giants fan. He would come to spring training frequently and I had the honor of meeting him and his son in 2012. For me, it is easy to take for granted the life that my family and I get to live everyday. Words don’t do justice for the gratitude that I have for people like Ryan that sacrifice their lives fighting against evil, so that we may live with freedom.

“Unfortunately for Ryan’s family, they lost a husband and a father this weekend. I can’t imagine the pain they must be going through. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

“Ryan Owens was a hero that is gone way too soon.”

The photo of Owens in the Giants clubhouse is from one of his spring training visits to Scottsdale, per NBC News.

A statement from Defense Secretary James Mattis said Owens, 36, “gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service.”

[Big League Stew]