Marine sergeant injured in Iraq seeks help fulfilling reunion dream


Mark Mulholland WNYT
Updated: February 22, 2024 – 6:41 PM
Published: February 22, 2024 – 6:34 PMPlay Video

Marine Sgt. Eddie Ryan from Lake George was shot in the head in Iraq, leaving him permanently confined to a wheelchair.

Now, the combat veteran is eager to reconnect with his fellow marines, some of whom saved his life.

Ryan loved to hunt, fish and ride ATVs while growing up in Ellenville, and this All-American kid always wanted to be a Marine.

He nearly quit school and joined right after 9/11, but his family convinced him to graduate first.

Two weeks after graduation, he was at Parris Island Marines boot camp, fulfilling his life-long dream. He did three tours in Iraq.

On April 13, 2005, he was on a rooftop in Iraq with his sniper team.  Through miscommunication. He was hit by friendly fire.

His fellow marines help saved his life and carried him to help.

His condition was rated as grave at one point. In fact, doctors believed he had died. However, after six and a half weeks in a coma, Ryan made it.

The Ryan’s Lake George home is outfitted with all of the equipment they need for Ryan to live his best life. They get to therapy at the VA in Albany a few times a week. However, that’s about as far as Eddie can go. He can’t fly because of a traumatic brain injury.

However, in April of this year, Eddie wants to go to Florida for a planned reunion with some fellow Marines, including some of the guys who saved his life.

The reunion is organized by a charity run by another former Marine.  They’ve scheduled an alligator and wild boar hunt on land where the animals are considered invasive.
It’s a dream for Ryan, and he’s even been practicing at the range.

They already have the guys – also former Marines – ready to go south with them, to help Eddie, but unless they can come up with a specialized RV with a lift to get Eddie in and out, he won’t be able to go.

MORE: How to help Sgt. Eddie Ryan

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