Ryan Hall was a good man. I know this because he was loved by some of the finest people I know; the kind of people to whom I say, “A friend of yours is a friend of mine.” So Ryan was my friend, too.
I didn’t know him well, but I always enjoyed his company. He was funny, snarky. A “typical pilot” in some ways, but you didn’t have to dig too deep to get to his softer side. He complimented me on my glasses on a night I was feeling less-than-pretty. Once, he talked me through a personal problem – in a bar, no less. I guess he wasn’t one to let circumstances dictate actions. I guess that was the Ryan way.
Last summer, one of my best friends got married. Ryan was supposed to be in the wedding. But he was otherwise occupied, over the desert of Africa or Afghanistan. His presence was missed; I’m sure he knew that. I’m sure he knew he was a good man. I hope he did.
I hope he’s remembered as a good man, and as a hero.
Capt Ryan P. Hall, Capt Nicholas S. Whitlock, 1st Lt Justin J. Wilkens, Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten
Killed in Action, Feb. 18 near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti
Some gave all.