Private First Class Jamie Riley, 21, of Fair Haven, followed his heart from a young age to serve in the United States Military. He enlisted in the Army Jan. 23, 2018, after attending Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a cavalry scout, reconnaissance soldier stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas where he was assigned to the 1st Armored Division, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
On the evening of Jan. 22, Jamie, along with another soldier, was fatally injured in a Stryker vehicle accident during a training exercise. Although his time was tragically cut short, his prestigious awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Air Assault Badge, Combat and Special Skill Badge, Basic Marksmanship Badge, and Bar, Weapon: Rifle Expert.
A 2015 graduate of Red Bank Catholic High School, Jamie was a natural leader, excelled in football, track and field, and practiced tae kwon do, achieving his third degree black belt. Jamie was an avid outdoorsman who loved to exercise and trained intensely with military firearms. He was also an animal lover, who loved all of his Boxer dogs immensely.
Jamie’s mother was born in Scotland of Scottish parents and he was intensely proud of his Scottish heritage, even teaching himself how to play the bagpipes.
Jamie will be deeply missed by his parents, Carolyn and Carl Riley, his younger sister Cassidy Riley, grandparents Dr. James F. S. and Noreen Reid of Keerbergen, Belgium, and John and Lorraine Riley of Middletown, and his best friend Christopher Appezzato of Fair Haven, along with multiple other close relatives and friends on both sides of the Atlantic.
Jamie will always be remembered for his lovable personality, hardworking, helpful ways, generosity, extreme kindness, and most importantly his good-natured smile that could light up the darkest room.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4 at Tower Hill Presbyterian Church, 255 Harding Road, Red Bank, followed by a funeral service at 3 p.m. Interment will be private at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please make a memorial donation to the Fisher House Foundation at fisherhouse.org. The Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital.
The Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank, has been entrusted with the arrangements.