I did not know Ryan well. We were classmates in a couple of Extreme Close Quarters Combat classes put on by SouthNarc.
I knew him as a warrior.
That’s him on the ground, holding off two attackers at once. You can see a training knife in one of the attacker’s hands.
I know a lot of tough guys. I know a lot of guys you don’t want to fuck with if you are a person of evil intent.
I don’t know many of Ryan’s character and capabilities.
Kit has a great tribute to him over on Prevail Training. You can see some videos of him grappling, and Kit really speaks eloquently about how Ryan really exemplified the warrior spirit.
Check it out.
He blew me away, the first day I met him. All business. Quiet, competent, switched on, game as fuck. The dude had it in spades, whatever you want to call it. Absolutely a pro, humble, gracious.
But he’d put you in a world of hurt going against him.
I feel so goddamn sad about his murder. The guy had so many tours over there. He was one of the guys profiled in Generation Kill when he was just a 22 yr. old corporal. Before he got all special forces recon Marine gungie. How many times can you put a guy in the jackpot before his number comes up, no matter how good he is?
We ask too much of these good men.
I try to be a good man. I think I am one. But Ryan Jeshke was so much more than I will ever be on my very best day. A true warrior. A great example of what it takes to be a hero, and what it costs.
The world is diminished with his passing. We are all a little poorer.
Rest in peace, my brother. Knock ’em back with all the great warriors in Valhalla. You’ve earned your spot there.
You will be missed.