A Modern Veteran

Noah Fitzgerald

When one thinks of a war veteran, the first thought for many people is a middle aged or older grizzled man. This is not the case for Ryan, however. He is not even 40 years old and a veteran returned home from Iraq, ready to live a normal life.

Ryan served a total of eight years in the Army, most of which were spent in reserves or training. In 2010 and 2011, he became a member of the military police in Iraq. Now that he is home he is got a few new outlooks on things.

A big factor was of his new outlooks, what his wartime means to him, and how it has impacts him. He said himself that “A veteran is only 20% of who I am,” meaning he only believes his time fighting to be a fraction of who he has become since he left. His days in Iraq however did sculpt heavily his ideals of friendship, and of purpose.

He learned an undeniable sense of comradery and brotherhood for his fellow man. Ryan was even always afraid and in danger in the conflict torn country, he learned that with a few friends and a bit of faith, he could overcome anything. This is despite the harsh truth that “The military attracts all walks of life, a lot of great people, and also some pretty shitty people.” Even when with the more unfavorable folk, he could still treat them as a comrade playing Call of Duty with them on the downtime they had. Yes, they had several TV’s and X Boxes set up around the base to play CoD when they didn’t have a job to do.

Ryan definitely left Iraq a different man, but that doesn’t make him grizzled and hardened. An assistant coach for a college baseball team, and working towards getting his teaching degree, he lives happily and lives well. The occasional bout of PTSD arises, as with most veterans, but outside of that he’s living a great happy life, and is a far better man for his time in the war.