War in Afghanistan hits home
Ahead of Veterans Day, reporter Adam Schrager tells the story of Private Ryan Larson, a young man from Adams County, Wisconsin who was killed last summer in Afghanistan.
It is an important day for many students and staff, and our families. We'll be honoring Ryan Larson, and I know that many of you are close to him.
Obviously, today is Veterans Day.
Very emotional situation, very emotional time. A lot of us have known Ryan for a long time.
Ryan was a great kid. He helped out with everything. He did what he could for everyone. He wanted them to be the best they could be as well as he'd be the best he could be.
It was always a fun time when Ryan was around.
He was kind of the kid I looked up to coming into high school, just around my size, everything, acted just like me. Everybody called me Little Larson.
He was one of those kids that– he was never tired. He always wanted to do more. He always wanted to give more. And that's the best thing about Ryan Larson that really sticks in my mind.
He was a good boy. And we loved him so much.
He wanted to be a soldier so bad. He said he wanted to serve our country and keep us all safe.
At first it was a shock. The kids, the parents, the faculty members here, it happened right at-- after the end of school, so everyone was on summer break.
I got a text from one of my friends asking if I knew Ryan Larson. And I said, yeah. And they said, well, I just heard he was killed in Afghanistan. And when I found out what happened, I just kept asking why it was him. There were two other guys, I think, in the Striker with him and those guys are lucky to be alive and I'm glad, but, I mean, he was just one of the unlucky. And I really wish it wasn't him.
Of course, we're still upset with what happened, but we know that Ryan would have wanted us to push on.
Veterans Day as a whole means a lot. It reminds me of everybody who's put their lives out there. But this Veterans Day is more important to me than any other because there's finally been someone I knew that's been affected and it's affected so many of us.
We all lost someone special this June when Private Ryan Larson was killed while serving our country.
Everyone says it's just another day, that we should always thank our veterans, and that's true. But the day that you realize that you're missing something that's always been there, it really hits home.
Ready, aim, Fire!
When they say make the ultimate sacrifice, it's us down here that's making it too because it hurts so bad.
He died doing what he wanted to do, so with that, you know, yeah, I smile because I know he served his life the way he wanted to serve it. Life's too short to just sit by idly. I truly believe Adams-Friendship is better because of Ryan Larson.