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 A. Conklin An Angel From Hell

August 17, 2009

Ryan ConklinWith the advent of Ryan Conklin’s book being available for pre-order on various book seller sites, Ryan wrote a plug for his book in a blog post on his MySpace page. He provided information about what the book contained, why he wrote it, and what he hoped readers would get out of it.

As reported here before, the title “An Angel From Hell” refers to Ryan being in Company A of the 3/187th Infantry Regiment (Rakkasans). That company was known as the “angels From Hell”, so being a soldier in that company made Ryan one.

The scope of this personal memoir is the year that Ryan spent in Iraq during his first deployment there (2005-2006). While there, his company provided security for Saddam Hussein’s trial in Baghdad, then moved north to Tikrit, where they did combat missions in the Al Saladin Province. Ryan mentioned the various kinds of jobs he performed at that time, including rifleman, turret gunner, radio telephone operator, assistant gunner, and general morale booster.

The book came about because of the lack of any other means to resolve the deeply buried emotions that Ryan felt about his experiences in combat. He started writing about them and found the process to be a form of self-therapy. It was a way for him to let his guard down and be open about what he felt. He could draw his emotions from his mind, put them on paper, and then push them away.

Ryan included all the little things he did during both the good times and bad times. He put in things he was proud of and things he wasn’t so proud of. It took him a year, but eventually he ended up with 400 pages of his perspective of being a soldier in Iraq.

Interestingly, the book at first was intended to be for Ryan’s eyes only. Then at some point, he realized that other people might be interested in what he had to say as well. Now, he views his book as being meaningful for any reader. He hopes it will provide insight to all on what the men and women in the military do in Iraq and what kind of situations they face there.

An Angel From Hell – BUY THE BOOK!!

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 Readies To Leave For Iraq

April 15, 2009

Ryan ConklinIn a recent article by the AP, Ryan Conklin (The Real World Brooklyn) stated that he was getting ready to be in Iraq on Sunday, April 19th. (Ryan leaves Fort Bragg on the 16th headed to Kuwait first). He said he would like to leave as soon as possible so he can finish his tour that much sooner. He hopes that the duration will be no longer than nine months.

Ryan is with other soldiers who have been called back to active duty. They are not happy about their situation, being taken away from their post-service lives, and they stick together to commiserate with each other about it.

Nevertheless, Ryan still looks back at his military service as something that has been very valuable to him and something that he is very proud of. He’s confident that if he had the choice, he would make the same decision again to enlist.

One of the things he hopes to do with any rest time that he may have in Iraq is to try to do some filming. When asked if he had thought about making a documentary about his upcoming time in Iraq, Ryan joked that he could make a “Real World: Baghdad”.

Ryan Conklin And Wrenching Pathos

March 18, 2009

Ryan Real World BrooklynI watched episode 11 of The Real World Brooklyn, in which Ryan gets the notice that he was being called back to Iraq. Like most people I knew how it was going to end, but that still didn’t prepare me for the actual experience of watching it. Most of the show was additional awe producing displays of what an intricate and impressive person Ryan Conklin is. For someone like me who is trying to figure out what makes this person tick, it really throws one for a loop. Too much to understand.

Then came the inevitable finale.

I feel so numb. It’s like in a dream when you know exactly what bad thing is about to happen and you want desperately to change it but no plea can avert it. You want to reach out to someone, anyone, to make it stop.

Every week, with every episode and all the video clips, I become more in awe of Ryan. Unbelievable. Incredible. My mind can’t comprehend how all the parts of Ryan fit together in one person. I try to understand, but he’s like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle for which there is no picture guide.

Ryan’s story is entertaining and riveting and emotionally draining. It provides hours of fascinating distraction.

But now I just want to know that everything’s going to be okay. Please be okay.

Real World Brooklyn Ryan Conklin Back To Iraq

March 11, 2009

Ryan Real World BrooklynIf you have seen my previous post on Ryan Conklin back in uniform, then the preview for episode 11 of The Real World Brooklyn is no surprise. In the preview, Ryan gets the call from home that he has received notice that he is being called back to active duty.

He went back into the army in February, several weeks ago. He said it would be February on MySpace and that’s when he disappeared from regular activity on iamonmtv.com and on his MySpace account.

I know he has been at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and then Fort Benning in Georgia around this time. Fort Jackson and Fort Benning are places that do refresher training for reactivated IRR soldiers.

Then I learned that he is being redeployed to Iraq on April 15th. That’s just 2 weeks after his 24th birthday. Be sure to wish him happy birthday on April 1st and let him know you care.

I’ve already commented on my feelings about this at the link above and below. Please feel free to comment here or at either of those two on how you feel.

Seeing Ryan called back to Iraq.

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