Ryan Speaks About His Return To Duty Special

November 4, 2009

Ryan Conklin in IraqIn a video clip from Iraq, Ryan Conklin spoke about the MTV television special that will chronicle his time after the end of The Real World Brooklyn. It will show his preparation to return to active service in the Army and then his deployment to Iraq and his experiences there. It will focus not only on him but also on other people in his life, relating how Ryan’s recall has profoundly affected them. The show is called Return To Duty and will premiere on MTV at 9pm on November 11th, 2009.

Ryan compared the timing of the premiere with what had happened one year prior. He reminded viewers that a year ago he had received the notification from the Army that he was being recalled from the Individual Ready Reserve. Now on the anniversary of that fateful event, Ryan wanted to do something he felt a lot more favorable about. He wants to show everyone what being in that kind of situation is like, and what it means to soldiers and their families.

Ryan explained that with his own camera he himself had recorded a lot of the raw footage. Then the resources of BMP were able to take the video and craft the hour special. Ryan has seen the finished product and he is very excited and very impressed by it. He needed to watch it for the first time by himself, as he knew it would be something that was very emotional for him.

Ryan said it is a great story. It’s one that is relatable to families that have experienced the same situation themselves, and for those families that haven’t, it should be a good education about what sending someone off to war is like.

(Mark your Ryan A. Conklin calendars for 11/11/09).

Ryan Conklin in MTV Special Return To Duty

October 31, 2009

Ryan Conklin in IraqThe long awaited MTV follow-up special about the recall to active duty and deployment to Iraq of The Real World Brooklyn‘s Ryan Conklin is finally going to be aired.

This is the description of the show:

Any viewer of The Real World Brooklyn vividly remembers the emotional moment when cast member, and Army vet, Ryan Conklin was unexpectedly recalled for a second tour of duty in Iraq. Return to Duty is Ryan’s gritty and very personal document of his return as a patrol gunner to the sweltering streets of Baghdad. Equipped with his own video camera, and the addition of a camera crew embedded with his unit, it’s a soldier’s view of America’s changing military presence in the long war in Iraq. His very close-knit family back home must cope with the fear and absence of their son fighting overseas once again; while his new found relationship with Brooklyn Real World roommate Baya is put to a critical test.

Click on the link for more about the MTV Ryan Conklin special Return To Duty, which premieres on November 11th.

Ryan Conklin Back On MTV

July 7, 2009

Ryan Conklin IraqOn Ryan Conklin‘s MySpace blog, he had written on April 16th and again on June 8th that he would be seen again on television. With the certainty he had in stating it, it wasn’t hard to deduce that something was in the works, presumably MTV doing a special on Ryan’s deployment to Iraq.

Then more recently, there was a curious situation of Ryan suddenly adding two more people to the small list of those he followed on Twitter, one of whom (Matt Ruecker) was a producer for The Real World Brooklyn. Both of the two new followings had written about being in Baghdad recently for a short period of time.

Now it has been revealed that yes in fact MTV had been taping Ryan’s training while stateside and also his Army life and experience in Baghdad. It’s for a followup story of what has happened to Ryan after The Real World ended and he went back to active duty. It will include scenes of what Ryan’s life is like at Joint Security Station Saydiyah near Baghdad and will show him at work as an infantryman patrolling Baghdad’s Saydiyah neighborhood.

The MTV Ryan Conklin special Return To Duty will premiere on November 11th, 2009.

It’s not surprising that MTV would want to do an additional piece focused on Ryan Conklin. During the run of The Real World Brooklyn, the viewers were charmed by the personality and wit of this engaging young man, and were heartbroken as they watched his life turned upside down with the sudden notification that he was being recalled to active duty in the Army. People watching the show grew to have a great interest and affection for him, and after the show ended they continued to want to know how well he was faring.

At the moment, as every loyal fan knows and can recite from memory, Ryan is currently serving with the North Carolina National Guard, in Company B, 252nd Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team.

It will be heartwarming to see Ryan back on television, showing in new ways what an amazing person he is.

Click on the link for more about Ryan Conklin in Return To Duty.

Publication of Ryan Conklin Iraq Book

April 28, 2009

Ryan ConklinRyan A. Conklin’s book about his experiences during his first tour of duty in Iraq is going to be published. The working title is An Angel from Hell: Real Life On The Front Lines. The title refers to Ryan’s time in “The Angel Company” of the 101st Airborne. The expected publication date is April, 2010.

The book will be published by the Berkley imprint of the Penguin publishing group, as part of their Caliber line of military books.

Ryan had completed the majority of his manuscript before starting on the MTV show The Real World Brooklyn. He continued to write and edit his work while the show was being taped and finished the draft between the time the show wrapped and his redeployment to Iraq.

During the first episode of the show, Ryan told his castmate Sarah Rice that writing the book only for himself was his way of dealing with the stresses of war. He said that writing about what he had seen and done had a cathartic effect of drawing emotionally troubling thoughts out of his conscious mind. He also gave as a reason for writing the book that he wanted to be able to share it with his future grandchildren. He lamented that his grandfather had served in W.W. II, but that he had died before Ryan began to be interested in stories of military history. Ryan wanted to make sure that his own grandchildren would know his stories no matter what.

Fortunately for Ryan A. Conklin’s fans, now we will get to know those stories as well.


Ryan Conklin

January 27, 2009

Ryan ConklinAt the beginning of every new season of The Real World I watch at least part of the first episode to see if there are any people of interest that might give me a reason to keep watching. Unfortunately, in the previous five seasons I haven’t seen anything that would make me want to waste a minute watching that tripe. Needless to say, this made watching subsequent seasons of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge a challenge as I wondered who all of the new extra people were.

I should point out that I had been an avid viewer of the show beginning with episode one of season one, all the way through Philadelphia, with the notable exceptions of the Las Vegas sleaze-fest and the irrelevant San Diego. So I’m open to finding a cast or even a cast member that I care enough about to give me a reason to watch again.

The problem has been that the production company as been too intent on creating immediate hook-ups and excessive drama by casting mainly very loose and shallow men and women plus a couple of scary psychotics. Production lost sight of the key to Real World‘s success, which is not the inane activities of the cast, but rather the gradual exploration and unveiling of the cast’s personalities. With cast members that are only a plastic veneer on an inner core of plastic, this type of character development hasn’t been possible.

Having seen the opening installments of the latest season, Real World Brooklyn, I can happily report that there is again someone in the cast who makes it worthwhile to select “record this showing” on my Tivo. That castmember is Ryan Conklin, the aspiring musician/film maker who is a former infantryman in the U.S. Army. Not only is he entertaining to watch, but he leaves you wanting to know more about him.

Ryan Real World Brooklyn

On of the most intriguing aspects of Ryan Conklin is his experience in the military. While he is a stereotypical soldier who doesn’t mind shooting at things and likes to blow stuff up, he’s also a creative type, who writes and sings songs and who authored a 300 page manuscript about his time in Iraq. He joined the Army because of the effect of 9/11 on him, but he leans Democrat and supported Obama. He’s rightfully proud of his service, but he doesn’t tell the Brooklyn cast about it right away because he wants make sure that others don’t prejudge him and that they have a chance to see and appreciate the full scope of his well-rounded character. These are some of the things that make Ryan a person who is compelling to be understood.

Ryan Real World Brooklyn

While Ryan Conklin has received cheers for his lighthearted jokes, songs and conversation, he has also attracted some jeers for his comments about transgendered roommate Katelynn Cusanelli, his initial interactions with gay roommate JD Ordornez, and his theatrics after being kissed by drag queen Peppermint. Some dullards have mistakenly and far too simplistically labeled Ryan as some kind of homophobe, but I’m not buying it. Reality TV editing makes easy conclusions for people who don’t like to think at all and in this case it gives something to glance and boo at to those kind of people who want a one-dimensional anti-gay person that they can criticize. On the other other hand, to those willing to fire a few neurons and look at the outtakes and some of the interviews, it can be seen that Ryan is pretty cool for a straight guy. It takes time for straights to unlearn prejudice and Ryan has shown he is on his way and willing to be more open in the future. Being friends with a gay man, realizing that being admired is a compliment, and even visiting a gay bar are good steps. He’s going to be fine. People shouldn’t expect a 23 year old only recently out of the army to be more than this yet.

Ryan Real World Brooklyn

Ryan A. Conklin has a good head on his shoulders but he also has his less intellectual side, as seen by his singing “The Tampon Song”. For this reason, I don’t mind stating that I can appreciate him for more shallow reasons as well. He didn’t have me at “hello”, but he certainly had my attention when he was lounging in his shorts, showing those hairy legs. Sustenance for the mind as well as the eyes.

Ryan Real World Brooklyn

Ryan Kehoe

February 12, 2008

I have been watching MTV’s The Gauntlet III (Real World/Road Rules Challenge) because of Ryan Kehoe. I like Ryan and seems like a cool guy. You don’t get to see much of him on the show, but I find him increasingly appealing. He reminds me of an ex-boyfriend. At least all of the good parts.

I’ll tell you about where they differ. While they have both been waiters, at least Ryan Kehoe never sold women’s shoes, that I know of. He also probably is not a two-timing, serial dater nor a person who starts every conversation listing what illegal drugs he is on. Don’t get me wrong, I have no ill will toward the ex. He went from an active skinny boy to a huge blob, which showed me I didn’t miss out on anything. Still, we had some good times in the long ago.

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