Family, friends of fallen Deputy Roger Rice ride to help first responder families

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The family of fallen Laurens County Deputy Roger Rice is helping other families of first responders eight years after his death. On Sunday, they honored Rice and other South Carolina fallen first responders at the eighth annual Deputy Roger Rice Memorial Ride around his hometown of Clinton.Rice was killed in the line of duty in June 2011 after he responded to a call to find Beannie Brown Jr., a man suspected of killing his girlfriend. In 2016, Brown was convicted of murder in the deaths of his girlfriend and Roger. “There’s still like times like this, the emotions are so raw. It bothers you that he’s not here, but you just go on, you learn different ways to deal with it,” said his father, Rice Sr. Eight years ago, his family started a fund, named in Rice Jr.’s honor. The money is raised from community events throughout the year and given to families of first responders who could use a hand. In some cases, the money raised helps pay for operations. Other times, it can go toward Christmas gifts. “He was the first to stand in line to donate blood or to donate to a family for Christmas. He was always doing something to give back to the community,” said former Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain, Rice’s boss. Chastain said the bond has grown between Rice’s family and the community each of the last eight years. “There’s nothing that we wouldn’t do for them, and there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for us,” he said. “It’s just that kind of a bond, and out of a tragedy, a family actually grows and that’s the law enforcement community and the Rice family.”It’s a bond the Rice family feels, too.”They’ve been there since day one, both sides, and this ride, I don’t know if Deb and I could have gotten through these last eight years if we didn’t have this ride and this charity and this thing to do,” said Rice Sr.

The family of fallen Laurens County Deputy Roger Rice is helping other families of first responders eight years after his death.

On Sunday, they honored Rice and other South Carolina fallen first responders at the eighth annual Deputy Roger Rice Memorial Ride around his hometown of Clinton.

Rice was killed in the line of duty in June 2011 after he responded to a call to find Beannie Brown Jr., a man suspected of killing his girlfriend. In 2016, Brown was convicted of murder in the deaths of his girlfriend and Roger.

“There’s still like times like this, the emotions are so raw. It bothers you that he’s not here, but you just go on, you learn different ways to deal with it,” said his father, Rice Sr.

Eight years ago, his family started a fund, named in Rice Jr.’s honor. The money is raised from community events throughout the year and given to families of first responders who could use a hand.

In some cases, the money raised helps pay for operations. Other times, it can go toward Christmas gifts.

“He was the first to stand in line to donate blood or to donate to a family for Christmas. He was always doing something to give back to the community,” said former Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain, Rice’s boss.

Chastain said the bond has grown between Rice’s family and the community each of the last eight years.

“There’s nothing that we wouldn’t do for them, and there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for us,
” he said. “It’s just that kind of a bond, and out of a tragedy, a family actually grows and that’s the law enforcement community and the Rice family.”

It’s a bond the Rice family feels, too.

“They’ve been there since day one, both sides, and this ride, I don’t know if Deb and I could have gotten through these last eight years if we didn’t have this ride and this charity and this thing to do,” said Rice Sr.

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