Ryan was the SEAL who was critically wounded preceeding Marc Lee's death in Ramadi on 2 August 06. Ryan was shot in the face and he has completely lost his right eye and may very well lose his left. He is recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland right now. I had the privilege of speaking with Ryan this afternoon on the phone, and I was struck by the courage and committment of this young man even at what must be his darkest hour.
Ryan was very grateful for Marc, "shooting for me," while his platoon tried to casevac him from the Ramadi rooftop where he was hit. Ryan was also grateful that an M1 tank put two 120mm rounds into the building from which he was shot. He told me that he takes great comfort in the fact that the terrorist who took his right eye won't be around to enjoy it, and I heartily agree with him. Though he certainly knows that he won't have the chance, he emphasized repeatedly to me that all he wanted to do was to get back into the fight with his platoonmates and that he'd gladly give his left eye for the opportunity.
Where do we get such men?
I spoke with his mother and brother over beers at world famous McP's Irish Pub in Coronado, CA on Saturday. They had attended Marc Lee's memorial service. Ryan has a great family that love him, but like many of our hero's families, they don't have cash sitting around to spend on travel expenses and hotel rooms so they can visit their warriors during their recovery. I donated to the Naval Special Warfare Foundation so that these needs could be met. I'd encourage B5 readers to do the same if you are able.
I am trying to set up a fund for Ryan to get a Valour IT laptop which totals out at $800. I will put down the first $250, and I would ask that readers who feel led, would step up and put up the remaining $550.