Aug 14, 2021
Today we hear the Combat Story (Part 1 of 2) of Ryan Hendrickson, a former Green Beret and Special Forces Engineer (18C) who served multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan as part of 7th Special Forces Group.
Before joining the Army, Ryan served in the Air Force and Navy, where he was one of the first ships on scene to support the USS Cole after it was attacked.
As a Green Beret, Ryan has a remarkable story in which he survived stepping on an IED that changed his life, but was unable to keep him out of the fight. After months of reconstructive surgery, he went back to the teams and Afghanistan, where he saved multiple lives and earned the Silver Star.
He is the author of Tip of the Spear and an adventure seeker who’s travelled most of the world. He still supports the war fighter as a contractor where he continues to save lives.
This is the first in a two part interview, covering Ryan’s life and combat up until stepping on the IED. In the second interview, we’ll touch on his recovery and several future combat operations, including the one in which he received the Silver Star.
Find Ryan H Online:
Website Tip of the Spear
LinkedIN Ryan Hendrickson
Book Tip of the Spear
Find Ryan F online:
Learn more about Ryan
0:00 - Intro
0:35 - Guest Bio
1:36 - Interview Begins
8:49 - “I just buried myself in wrestling and football.”
10:37 - Ryan’s Father
14:22 - The story of two old men
17:17 - “You don’t control life, and you don’t control death.”
17:48 - “The beginning and the end of the book are already there. But what you fill that book with is up to you.”
20:03 - True Happiness
21:53 - The Hero
24:18 - Joining the Military
26:45 - Joining the Navy
30:05 - Traveling the World
31:18 - The USS Cole Experience
33:03 - “I saw death in that aspect, as in the enemy was killing Americans.”
35:14 - From Navy to the Air Force
38:53 - Trying to be a Good Husband
43:02 - Becoming a Green Beret
44:02 - Following his Father’s Footsteps
45:22 - Getting Scammed
47:29 - Making new friends in Vietnam
50:34 - “I have yet to prove myself.”
53:39 - What is an 18C
1:02:15 - “I was nobody because of the fact that I had yet to prove myself when bullets are flying.”
1:02:53 - Combat Story #1: First deployment to Afghanistan
1:11:11 - “We fought all the time.”
1:11:35 - The Addictive Rush of the Battlefield
1:12:45 - Combat Story #2: The Life-changing mission
1:21:05 - “I can’t go back and change what I didn’t do.”
1:22:10 - The IED that changed Ryan’s life.
1:29:22 - “I was like, ‘I’m going to die here today.’”
1:30:19 - End of Part One...To Be Continued
1:30:35 - Shout Outs to the Combat Story Community