They Don't Just Hand Out Silver Stars...
One thing we love to do when we introduce new sponsors is give some insight into what those resources are going to and it’s hard to find a better example than Ryan.
Ryan Hendrickson is a Retired U.S. Army Special Forces Engineer. Ryan’s journey to Special Forces started in 2008 when Ryan transferred over to the Army after completing enlistments in both the Navy and Air Force. Ryan has multiple military deployments including Iraq, Afghanistan, and several South and Central American countries. Ryan’s decorations include the Silver Star, four Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and an Army Commendation Medal with Valor. When not abroad, he calls Florida home.
As the “tip of the spear,” his role on mission is to insure the route taken by U.S. and Afghan troops are free of IEDs — improvised explosive devices. Many soldiers do not survive their last step; those who do often lose at least one limb. While rescuing an Afghan soldier outside a mud-hut compound in 2010 — knowing that he was in “uncleared” territory — Ryan stepped on an IED with his right foot. The device exploded, leaving his foot dangling at the end of his leg.
American soldiers losing a limb is an all-too-common occurrence. But what makes Ryan’s story different is that after undergoing over two dozen surgeries and a tortuous rehabilitation, he was medically retired but fought to return to active duty.
Multiple skin grafts to his lower leg and right foot successfully reattached his lower leg, and he was aided in his recovery by wearing a new prosthetic device known as an IDEO (Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis).
Once he passed a series of crucial physical tests, Ryan was able to rejoin the Green Berets within a year and physically perform his duties, redeploying to Afghanistan in March 2012. In 2016, he volunteered to return to Afghanistan with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. During a firefight with the Taliban, he risked his life under heavy enemy fire to rescue three Afghan soldiers cut off from friendly forces and return the bodies of two dead Afghan soldiers under the ethos that “no one gets left behind.”
Ryan’s story is available for purchase HERE
"Oh God, this was bad.
"I'm hit, I'm hit, I'm hit!"
Tip Of The Spear, pp 116
Ryan donated proceeds from each book sold during the GB at GB tournament to the Green Beret Foundation and available to autograph books.