13 years and 2 months ago Ben started his journey in the Army. He started off in the 82nd Airborne division and then ended up with the Ranger Regiment where he has spent his last 7 years.
During Ben's time of service he has been deployed 6 times to both Iraq and Afganistan. God definetly had his hand upon Ben during those deplyments and came home safe each and every time.
Ben has completed Airborne School, Ranger School, Warrior Leader Course, Jumpmaster (he was about 5 jumps away from his Master Jumper), Pathfinder School and what he says was the hardest school he's ever done was Combat Diver School.
His award and decoration count are at 24, including a Bronze Star. He was able to move himself up in the ranks along his career pretty quick and in November 2007 was promoted to a Sergeant First Class. Ben was not really known for all of his awards, decorations or his rank yet his character. He was a man of his word, an honorable man, he did things well.
I didn't meet Ben until July 2006. I knew nothing about the military...nothing! Ben was very patient with me and would have me memorize things so I could recall them better. It was alot of fun. His job was important to him. He took it very seriously and even though he didn't agree with some stuff that took place he still did his job well and to his fullest ability. He was deployed once while we were dating and then once more while we were engaged. Those days were so hard. It broke his and my heart for him to leave but to go was his job. To lay his life on the line for us was what he had signed up for and he was committed to the task even if it meant leaving me or worse then that.
Like I said Ben is an honorable man, a trusted man, a very humble man. His heart towards young men has been amazing as well. He loved being their mentor and helping them to become men in how they treated their families and wives. He didn't want them to be little boys with low esteem but good strong men who had good character. His heart is so good. The list would be to long for me to go over everything good people have said about Ben, his character and his committment to the Army.
Today is a sad day for Ben and I. Today marks Ben's last day in the Army. It was a day we thought he would see at 20 years or more. Definetly not under the circumstances we are in now. God had a different plan for Ben. He has not lost heart in what the task is before him now but trust me he would rather be deployed then doing what he's doing now.
Ben is sad, his heart is breaking a bit. He understands what is going on and knows why it has to happen but yet it is so hard for him. We don't really know what to do with our feeling and emotions right now. It is a change and it has to happen.
Ben has had a new mission his last three years in the Army and that is to get better! He has done amazing so far and has a warriors heart in it all! He tells me all the time, "just you watch, I will beat this stupid brain injury!" or "I will not give in!" or "I'm going to prove alot of people wrong!" The best one is "I will not surrender because surrender is not a Ranger word!" He will push on even through frustration, anger, craziness, moving backwards, stuck in a rut and all the things that are against him. Like I said he has a warriors spirit and heart!
There are alot of memories for Ben and for me too. We cannot stop making memories but we will for sure continue to look back and remember what was. I will always remember who Ben was in those years...the same man that he is today but just now he has a differnt path to walk down. I still sometimes wonder (ok alot of times) wonder how the heck we got down this path and why the heck we are still on it but we are here and that is it. We move forward, we continue to build memories!
Please help me honor Ben by saying some extra prayers for him, by telling another soldier "thank you" and for giving honor where honor is due. Please continue to pray for Ben's healing and recovery. I know this means the world to him and he just so much wants to get better!
He wants it SO bad!
We will be having a retirement ceremony for him the end of November (have to wait for the boys to get home) and so that will be a great time to honor him! If you would like to send him a note of thanks or have your kids make him some art I know he would love it! I would love to put together a scrap book for him with all of these in it! Please don't feel obligated to do so but it would be fun to have them for him! I want to have it ready for his retirement ceremony the end of November so if you would like to send him something please send it by the 20th of Nov!
You can send them to:
SFC Ben Rye
2641 Ballantine Dr. SE
Olympia, WA 98501
We are still continually in awe of all of you who still follow our journey! The prayers, comments, notes and emails all mean so much to both of us. It is one of the things that keep us going! Blessings to all of you and more posts to come! :)
Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.
Rangers Lead The Way!!!