The following are blog posts from the early days of

Matthew Richey

Posted: 31 Dec 2003 07:16 pm Post subject: HERO!!!

Ryan... You ARE the definition of a TRUE HERO!!! The heroic actions you have taken are why this country, the U.S.A., is free. Rest In Peace.

Benita Pardo

Posted: 04 Jan 2004 01:21 pm Post subject: Ryan Young

This message goes to the entire family of Sgt. Ryan Clint Young
Ryan was a friend of my sons for many years. His death came as a shock and he will truly be missed by our entire family. He spent a lot of time at our house so your loss of Ryan is shared by us too. He was one of ours. A kind heart, great qualities that are not found anymore in the youth today, a caring person and funny beyond compare.

I asked Ryan last year how he felt about going overseas. His answer was nothing but what you would expect from him. He said "I'm trained to do my job. I joined the military to do just this. If defending my country cost me my life, then I have made the ultimate sacrifice. Freedom doesn't come cheap". He smiled then said "but I'm coming home". In his voice and in his eyes you could see the pride and honor that only dedication and commitment could express.

As time eases our pain slightly we remember so many good times we as a family have shared with Ryan. Taco night on Wednesday was a big thing at our house. Even when some of our kids were not there for Tacos Ryan was there. He was always happy, good natured and incredibly thankful for even the smallest things that life here on earth has to offer. As Ryan has been called to other duties now in a more peaceful place we smile as we speak his name in our house and remember the kindness of his life while he was here.
I would like to express thanks to Ryan's entire family for bringing Ryan Young into this world and our lives and allowing us to share such a terrific individual that will be loved by all of us and will never be forgotten.


Posted: 05 Jan 2004 07:40 pm Post subject: Memories

You know…everyone that knew Ryan wants to lay claim to a part of his legacy, and rightfully so. We do that in death. We want to hold on tight and not let go of someone that was dear to us. Ryan touched many, and each and every one of us has a unique memory tucked away in our hearts, and it’s a place reserved just for him. No one can share it. No one can take it away. No one can compare it either.

Ryan gave each of us something special to cherish, and to treasure for always. As his mother-in-law, I knew him as a son-in-law and trusted him with my daughter. I only wish I could have seen Ryan and Sarah at Walter Reed Hospital as his mother, Kathi, did. When she returned from D.C. she said, “They really, really, loved each other!” I also remember the last time I spoke with him. I did most of the talking, because he couldn’t talk well, but he managed somehow to tell me he loved me. This I know was true. I loved him too. I’m just so glad I had the opportunity to tell him that. Those words were the last words I heard from Ryan's lips and they will forever stay in my mind. “I love you too!” he had said to Sarah, and then the light of life dimmed that day, soon to be gone, but not forgotten. Sad, but true, we don’t really know the complete person until they’re gone and hear from others what he brought to their lives, who loved him, and how the reality of Ryan’s life was shared by many good people, family, and friends. He will be missed by all of us that knew him.

Site Administrator
Posted: 09 Jan 2004 08:25 pm Post subject:

Benita, thank you for sharing the Wednesday night tacos story with us. It's funny because I always tell people that when I was a young child and would get down about something, I always thought about Friday night tacos at my house to give me something to look forward to. I'm sure Ryan looked forward to Wednesday nights at your house.
But do you see the similarity? That's interesting.
Fran, I think you hit it right on the head when you said that it's sad but true that most people will not get know someone completely until they are gone and anecdotes, stories, memories come forth from all of us. It's just human nature I suppose. Still, I think if we would take the time to get more involved with the lives of our loved ones, we might find out many of the things that otherwise will go unknown until death.
Thanks everyone for your comments.

Site Administrator

Posted: 09 Jan 2004 08:54 pm Post subject:
Also, to whomever may be reading this post: If you knew Ryan and had some special thought or memory of Ryan, please post it. If you know of other people who could add to the comments pool here, please give them a link to this site or just have them type into the URL bar of their browser and follow the Comments link.


Posted: 06 Feb 2004 01:41 am Post subject:
For some unknown reason, I happened to be gaming at the same time as Ryan's younger brother. His user name was unique I happened to comment on it. His response back to me was - its not my name, its my brothers. He died in Iraq. I sat breathless for a moment thinking about what he said. He also said this website was here. I wanted to take a look and see who Ryan was. His pictures say so much about him. His family and friends pictures tell the same story. Ryan must have been a wonderful person. He certainly seems like a person I would like to have known.

To each of you affected by his loss - my heart goes out to you. Thank you for the sacrifice you have made for our country and for me personally. Please comment on whether there is a memorial in Ryan's name or someway I can show my well deserved respect for him.

Site Administrator

Posted: 12 Feb 2004 09:15 am Post subject: Please Do Not Sully Ryan's Memory

I feel that an explanation is in order for the removal of a post by Ryan's mother. Many things in life I do not have control over. But in this arena I am the top dog and I felt the post by Ryan's mother was vindictive and spiteful. Therefore, even though Ryan had to abide by certain ideosyncrasies of those around him in his growing up, he doesn't have to take that any more and if I have anything to say about it, I will do what is necessary to ensure that those days of spitefulness are in the past where he is concerned.
The post that I removed purposely omitted Ryan's wife's name (Sarah) and his father's name (Marvin). In the future if anyone has a game to play or an axe to grind, please see a therapist or live in your own misery but DO NOT bring it here. It will be deleted...end of sentence.


Joined: 14 Feb 2004
Posts: 1

Posted: 14 Feb 2004 02:12 pm Post subject: Ryan was a good man

I knew Ryan and I am glad to see that those who run this site caught the part about leaving Sarah's name out and only mentioning his mother's husband as dad. That is wrong.
Those who knew Ryan know how he felt about that situation and believe me, he would have been mad if he had seen that message.
Thanks for setting it straight.
God Bless
"What we do in life is echoed in eternity"


Posted: 16 Feb 2004 03:07 pm Post subject: Our Thanksgivings together
Thanksgiving two years ago, Ryan and I were living in Kansas. We planned a Thanksgiving feast for Ryan’s dad, Marvin, a couple of my real close friends, Amanda and Mario, and the rest were part of our army family. In case any of you are reading this your names are: Kluke, Meyers, Swoop. The rest of the company came over the next day for leftovers.

Ryan was a real trooper. It was the first Thanksgiving that I cooked. Ryan was on the phone with my mom at least 10 times. I was covered in Pistachio pudding and was flinging it at him; he was relaying what my mom was saying to do in the kitchen. In the middle of all the chaos, Ryan would come in the kitchen and hug me, and then stick his fingers in everything, giggling, and telling me how good it was. We were really excited. It was our first Thanksgiving. We had an opening in the wall from the kitchen to the living room. When ever I had a few minutes to spare, I’d stand there and watch how good of a time everyone was having, especially Ryan and Pops, (Dad).

Everyone was watching TV and throwing a few back. At one time I looked out and saw both Ryan’s and Pop’s skinny legs flying everywhere as they wrestled on the floor. It was fun watching them enjoy each other. When it came time to eat, I was scared that it wouldn’t taste good. Ryan told me, Sarah that was the best Thanksgiving dinner he’d ever had, and gave me a kiss. I guess it was. The 19 pound turkey that broke my first pan and sent me to the store in the middle of everything was gone in less than 24 hours.

Some of the real close friends had keys to our apartment. When we would come home, there were dishes in the sink and Thank You notes. Ryan and I would just laugh. Our second Thanksgiving, we spent in Walter Reed Hospital. I had gone out and brought my dinner and cheesecake for Ryan back to the room to eat with him, while his mom, step dad, Jennifer, and his grandparents went to the cafeteria. I’m glad we had a chance to be alone. Ryan told me to go eat with everyone else. I told him no and he smiled and gave me a look that he always did when I did something that made him happy. I miss him.


Posted: 16 Feb 2004 06:41 pm Post subject: Days I'll never forget

I knew Ryan and Sarah while he was stationed at Ft. Riley. I think without them I would've been lost. When I first got to Ft. Riley, I knew no one. Sarah and Ryan welcomed me without really knowing a thing about me, except I was Sgt. Garcia's wife. I spent that wonderful Thanksgiving day with them also. Sarah cooked one of the best meals I have ever had. While Mario (my husband) and Ryan and the rest of the guys hung out and drank. It was the best place to be besides with Family.

Then we had the fun time of playing hide and go seek in the house. Imagine Ryan playing. He was . Then there was the New years party we had. We made a complete mess of their apartment. But we all had a blast. The one thing I remember most about ryan is he made a joke out of everything. Especially picking on the other amanda. He made my life in Kansas more enjoyable. I know how hard it is to lose a loved one. I don't feel right knowing my husband is coming home, and wifes all around the country including Sarah will never get to see them agian. I don't know how all of you do it. Sarah you must be one of the strongest women out there, cause I would've lost it by now. I'll always remember Ryan, And If you can hear me up there Ryan, I want to thank you for always putting up with me, when Mario was away in the field. You'll be loved forever.


Posted: 15 Feb 2004 08:29 pm Post subject: Proud to be a Young

I felt like such a fool. I remember a few days before, or maybe even a week prior to Ryan leaving for boot camp he had gotten a tattoo. He was so proud of it. He came over and was showing it off. In the next few days he would be saying goodbye to all of us. As he stood in my doorway I hugged him goodbye and patted his back. Ryan said, “Thanks Fran! GEEZE!” How in the world I had forgotten that tattoo was new and on his back is beyond me, but I did. He and Sarah laughed at me. Ryan just shrugged it off which made me feel better, but what was I thinking? Anyway, you can see this tattoo of his name, YOUNG, on his back in the pictures on this site. He thought the world of the Young family and as I have come to know them I understand why he was proud to be one of them.


Posted: 16 Feb 2004 09:39 pm Post subject: Grand Cayman
Thank you for sharing your memories of Ryan. It is such a comfort to me to read them. I also have come to know why he loved Sarah and Fran so much and am thankful that he had you to love him. I remember the time we took Ryan to Grand Cayman Island for graduation and a going away present. It was me (Aunt Maureen), Briana, Christina, Uncle Harold, Aunt Judy and Robbie. We had soooo much fun. He was a natural snorkeling in the water with all the fish and stingrays, I could not believe how good he was. and chasing after the stingrays.

I loved watching him have a good time. One day we were getting ready to go to the beach and Judy was putting sunscreen on him (yes he was fair) and got sidetracked and that afternoon, we noticed his back was sooo sunburned except where her hand print was where she stopped, it looked so funny. I felt so bad because I know it must have been very painful, but he never complained. That was just the way he was.

Also I remember when we took the ride out to the stingrays on the boat, he was the 1st one out of 40 of us to jump in the water! He wasn't afraid of anything, but oh yes the ride on the parasail! He & Robbie went up together. It was 300 feet! He was so nervous he was chewing on a straw and the look on his face was priceless! Robbie and I still laugh about that. He still tried it even though he was scared of heights. Thank you Ryan for all the joy you gave to us! I Love You and miss you every day!


Posted: 16 Feb 2004 10:23 pm Post subject: Stripes all over the place
Sarah can tell this story much better than I, but in Kansas they had gone to the lake for the day. The sun was bright and Ryan needed sunscreen on. Sarah put it all over him and then he went in the water. Well...almost in the water. He was laying on a floating chair that had those straps on it just relaxing and kicking back. From the story that Sarah tells the water rinsed away the sunscreen from Ryans backside, but only where there were no straps. After a while he had turned over. Sarah said that when Ryan got off the chair and came walking up, he turned around and he had red stripes up and down his backside, legs and all, where he had sunburned. I guess Sarah laughed like crazy. I can just imagine Ryan having fun with this one. She said Ryan said, "Oh man!" and then acted out like he was proud of them, all puffed up and being funny.

Sarah's Mom

Posted: 07 Mar 2004 04:25 am Post subject: My Sense of Duty to Ryan's Memory

First of all the intention of this posting is not to sully Ryan’s memory in any way. Ryan was a proud young man and one that I loved dearly. These words may be hurtful to some, but I learned a long time ago that if the shoe fits wear it.

On the other hand, my daughter, Sarah, (spelled with an “h” as the biblical name Sarah after having given birth.), is left to carry a burden of sorrow and has become a very young widow. With that I write this posting so that you will know the repercussions of death, different insights into human nature, and a bird’s eyes view or a look at what goes on behind closed doors.
Sometimes the aftermath of a loss of a dear one is scarred and blemished. I don’t wish this upon Ryan and I feel the need to protect him, as if he were my own. After you read this posting I hope you will understand my efforts to protect my daughter too, and that I will do what Ryan would have wanted me to do for her. I will say this, without one doubt in my mind, that Ryan would be 100% embarrassed and extremely displeased knowing that he had left a financial burden upon Sarah.

To make a very long story as short as possible, upon Ryan’s and Sarah’s marriage, Ryan had mentioned to Sarah that he now was going to change the beneficiary to his life insurance to Sarah. Sarah declined. She had told me at the time, “Mom, I told him if we have any kids then the $250,000.00 should go to me and we’ll change it then, but if something happens to Ryan, it should go to his mom.” I remember being so very proud of her unselfishness and lack of greed. Ryan rested with that and I thought it was sound reasoning for two young people.

In addition, while they were married they used a bank account that had been opened in California by Ryan alone and like a lot of people these days, Sarah used Ryan’s ATM card for expenses in Kansas. The marriage pay went into this bank account throughout their stay in Kansas and while he was in Iraq. This even continued after they separated. The objective of that was to pay off the Cougar that Ryan drove in full upon his return. Ryan opened this account when he first joined the army and the beneficiary he put was his mother. That never was an issue with Sarah.
Little would anyone have suspected, nor would the thought be but a flash in our minds that Ryan would not survive and that Sarah’s trusting nature would one day compel me to protect the memory of Ryan.
As most everyone knows Sarah and Ryan had separated. Ryan had called me after he got his deployment orders. He stated that Sarah had reacted strangely and that things had gone really sour. Ryan and I spoke many, many, times. Each and every time he went to the field for weeks at a time he would call me with worry. Sarah couldn’t bare the stress over and over knowing that Ryan was in harms way. Sometimes I think back and remember her words when he was first injured. She looked directly into my eyes and said, “Mom. Now I don’t have to be afraid of losing him over there. He’ll be home.” She had no idea his injuries were extremely severe. (Sarah has lost more than most people lose in their lifetimes. She lost her brother at four, her dad and grandpa when she was fourteen, and her very first boyfriend when she was eighteen.
Her fears were warranted and as her mother, I feel a tremendous responsibility to protect her the best I can. She’s now lost her husband too! Consider that!) Regardless of what anyone might say, unless you are in the military, have been deployed, you have no idea the support system that is available to these families, because the burden is severe. It isn’t an uncommon occurrence to go separate ways and then when things return to normal again families reunite. In fact we have in our possession a letter Ryan sent to Sarah from Iraq. He went on and on about his love for her, that he thinks of her everyday, that he remembered their weekend on his last leave here and wished it could have lasted. It arrived in the mail the very day Sarah flew to Delaware to be with Ryan at Walter Reed Hospital.
While in the hospital, Ryan asked Sarah, "When are you going home?" It had been two weeks already. She said, “I have to go back to work Ryan.” Ryan said, “No. We have enough money to pay the bills in the account. I want you here till we go home.” An agreement had been made.
In the mean time, Kathi, while Ryan was in Iraq, had been paying the Cougar payments out of Ryan’s checking account, but for some strange reason she didn’t in November or December while he was still alive. And then the worst that could happen did. Ryan died, soon after or during lunch that tragic day in December.
This left Sarah without the checking account money, without the car payments having been made, without insurance benefits, no job, and marriage bills. Well, Ryan’s mom agreed to pay off the Cougar. After the funeral Sarah flew back to Kansas and then drove the car back, gave the keys and the paperwork to Ryan’s mom within a week’s time. The next thing I know Sarah had called me on the phone crying, in an extreme panic. Steve, Ryan’s step dad, as Sarah relates, threatened to strangle her and threw a pin at her. There was no explanation except that the burden was too much to bare and it appears Sarah was the scapegoat. (Steve felt that Sarah and Ryan were completely finished and if that is the belief, in truth, then there is no doubt that Ryan’s intention was to keep the Cougar for himself.) Sarah had no agreement, was yelled at again, and was told an agreement would be in the mail, “Maybe! We’ll think about it!” Well, I high-tailed it over there at Sarah’s request, and told her that no one would be expected to leave a car, keys, and paperwork without some kind of an agreement, under those circumstances and that we needed to call the police. I did. The police retrieved the paperwork and we drove Ryan’s car home. Kathi had stated that the car was in Sarah’s name too, not only Ryan’s and that it was legally hers.
In conclusion, while Sarah and Ryan were separated, Sarah wanted to buy a new vehicle here in California. She couldn’t assume a loan because her name was already on the Cougar. Sarah had established credit at an early age and with that Ryan was able to maintain the Cougar as long as she left her name on it. I spoke with Ryan a few times about this issue and if they were going to stay separated then he needed to put the Cougar in his name only. He agreed and promised me so that I would co-sign for Sarah’s new car. Time went on and Ryan called me several more times. He told me he had asked his mother to help him secure a loan in his name only. She told me, he didn’t ask her. He told me he had tried other places, but he couldn’t do it alone. He was leaving for Iraq and didn't have anymore time. Military personal have hard times, when creditors know they may be deployed and payments can be stopped. That is when the plan of action came in to save all money while he was in Iraq and when he came home, he would pay it off. Ryan stored the Cougar at Fort Riley and it sat there while he was in Iraq and Sarah was here with me in California. Sarah and Ryan both agreed to save the money, with the exception of some marriage pay that Ryan had sent her. It wasn’t the entire sum of marriage pay, but one that they had agreed upon, because they both wanted the Cougar paid off in full when he returned. If they had gotten back together, it would be paid, if they didn’t, he could put it in his name because it would have been paid off.
Well at this time, the Cougar sits in my driveway. Sarah can’t drive it, she cries looking at it, and the reminder of being strangled and yelled at enters her mind over and over. More is owed on it than it is worth and Sarah found out it was two payments behind and more owed. Thankfully, the Red Cross caught up the two payments, but since three months have passed, I have taken the burden upon myself to pay the payments on Ryan’s car, that Sarah’s name is on, because she didn’t want to hurt Ryan and force a sale. Ryan knew Sarah could have gotten the Cougar at any time, but they had agreed that is would be Ryan’s when he came home, and if they didn’t amend their marriage, he promised me and Sarah that it wouldn’t be in her name for long and to go ahead and co-sign for her, and that all would be good. If anyone knew Ryan, how he was with money, how he was with being self sufficient, how he was about being a burden, he would be extremely agitated and humiliated beyond belief. At least that's the Ryan I knew! I trusted his word, but he never had a chance to fulfill his promise. I don’t want Sarah to have to deal with the reality that Ryan died having left a financial burden on her. As his mother-in-law I feel that duty to Ryan. I guess it’s the least I can do for him or should I say, his memory?

Site Administrator

Posted: 07 Mar 2004 10:12 am Post subject:

That is a very objective, and thorough reporting of the details. You're right about everything, but one thing stands out...Ryan would NOT have wanted to leave a debt or a burden behind. That is the way Ryan was.
Thanks for setting the record straight.


Posted: 15 Feb 2004 08:02 pm Post subject: A Memory to Share

One memory of Ryan that stays in the forefront of my mind, as I remember the way he was, is the exact point in time when I realized that Ryan was someone very special. It was right then and there that I started to love him as a person and it was long before he had ever become my son-in-law. I’d like to share this memory with you.
One afternoon, Sarah and Ryan came walking in from after school. (I think they were in the eleventh grade, but I’m not sure.). I took one look at Ryan and saw that he had been beaten up pretty badly. He had a big knot on his head, his knuckles were cut and bloody, he was pretty red on the arms, and had a swollen shoulder. If you knew Ryan you would know that his skin was very fair and got red really easily, but his arms were unusually red from being hit repeatedly. What had happened was this, as Sarah had related it to me, and from my own recollection. He and Sarah came upon a fight after school. There were four boys beating up on one of Ryan’s friends. When Ryan saw the unfairness of it all, he jumped right in. Sarah said that Ryan took one guy and threw him off the pile of boys, and then hit another one. Finally, his friend was free to get up and finish off the fight. Well…he didn’t. He had had a broken nose and took off for home. That left Ryan alone with all four boys and their attention was now on him. Needless to say they attacked him viciously and they were relentless. They’d hit him in the head with a skateboard and were tearing into him like something else. He was knocked unconscious. When Sarah saw that he was out cold, she jumped on top of Ryan and the boys saw the damage and left. Sarah yelled for someone to get some water from inside a house and then propped up Ryan’s head on her sweatshirt. Ryan was really hurt. I can still see him sitting here, all bruised up, and I remember it vividly. That very day, I learned that Ryan possessed a sense of duty to himself and to his fellowman. I saw this personal obligation to fairness as an admirable attribute of good character and one that is rare. From then on I took a keen interest in this fine young man named, Ryan Young. Looking back, his heroism had begun many years before he had become a soldier. He didn’t consider the consequences, or if he did, they didn’t stop him from helping out a friend. I’ll never know, but he took action to protect, even when he himself was put in harms way. When Ryan came to, they came straight to my home. As I looked at Ryan and watched his reactions, I saw in him something I had never seen before and I soon respected him for several reasons. He didn’t brag. He didn’t complain about being left behind. Nor did he complain of the pain he was experiencing. I filled baggies up with crushed ice and he held them on his swelling for a couple of hours. Of course, Sarah was by his side the whole time. They were friends! As time went on and comments were made about this incident the stories grew, and others tried to claim their participation in this event. I sat and listened and watched the story unfold many times over. Ryan never disputed them or even commented. He didn’t need to. Sarah did though. She laid into the others saying, “You didn’t do that!” or she shook head back and forth all animated and dramatic, as if in disgust, but Ryan didn’t defend what he did or did he challenge them to the truth. I’d look at Ryan and he’d raise his eyes ever so slightly, his lips curled in a grin, as if to say, “It’s all good.” His wisdom and maturity made a lasting impression on me. I marveled that Ryan never questioned what had happened, or why the other friends that had been there didn’t help out, or why the one he saved left leaving Ryan alone. I think I would have, with a vengeance, but he never brought those things up. Many times I’ve wondered why he never did talk about it, wondered if he’d even ever thought about it, and yet I realized then, as I do now, that he didn’t need to. It was a done deal. Ryan knew within himself what had been the right thing to do and he did it straight up, no questions asked. He was satisfied with his own actions and that was enough for him. But, it was from that day forward, I saw Ryan as a person to respect, admire, and most of all trust.


Posted: 16 Feb 2004 09:13 pm Post subject: Ryan
As I read your message about this rememberance of him I am nodding my head beacuse you are so right. That is exactly how Ryan was That was just one of the reasons why we loved him so much. He had such a sweet, noble spirit that only the people that really knew him could explain. Ryan knew the true meaning of love, never boastful, never jealous, never proud, but always ready to do the right thing and never ever complain. We will always have many woderful memories of him and will forver be in our hearts! Thanks for sharing your memories with us!


Posted: 05 Mar 2004 01:58 am Post subject: MY MEMORY
I would like to share one of my memories. I met Ryan almost 2yrs ago.When i first arrived at Ft. Riley. When i learned that he would be one of my team leaders as a private, i was upset. I never could have imagined the selfless service,leadership, and potential, that a young PFC could have. From the very first day that i met him Ryan never failed to accomplish a mission. He always put his soldiers first, and never quit. I took Ryan to his promotion board last year and remember the proud feeling i had when he was so sure of himself and had such a demanding presence that the board didn't even ask him a single question other than to recite the NCO creed.It was the same feeling I had when my own son first learned how to walk then run, and then read. I remember the night of november 7th 2003 when Ryan told me he wanted to go on the next days mission because our own missions had been cut down and he wanted to do his part. I knew there would be no telling him no as I had the same feelings. That was the last time I saw my friend.
I appologize for being so sad. I just wanted to share my memories of Ryan.