Ryan Hendrickson, a Green Beret who was awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor, has authored a book about his experiences on the battlefield, and Stripes Pub & Grill in Navarre is hosting an October 9 book signing for him.
“Tip of the Spear” is the inspiring true story of Sergeant First Class (SFC) Hendrickson, a US Special Forces soldier who was medically retired after stepping on an IED, and his incredible return to active duty and combat.
The book details Hendrickson, clearing the way for his 12-man team. As the “tip of the spear,” his role was to ensure the route taken by U.S. and Afghan troops are free of IEDs (improvised explosive devices). Many soldiers do not survive their last step; those who do often lose at least one limb.
While rescuing an Afghan soldier outside a mud-hut compound in 2010, knowing that he was in “uncleared” territory, Ryan stepped on an IED with his right foot. The device exploded, leaving his foot dangling at the end of his leg.
American soldiers losing a limb is an all-too-common occurrence. But what makes Ryan’s story different is that after undergoing two dozen surgeries and a tortuous rehabilitation, he was medically retired but fought to return to active duty. Multiple skin grafts to his leg and right foot successfully reattached his lower leg, and he was aided in his recovery by wearing a new prosthetic device known as an IDEO (Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis).
Once he passed a series of crucial physical tests, Ryan was able to rejoin the Green Berets within a year and physically perform his duties, redeploying to Afghanistan in March 2012.
In 2016, he volunteered to return to Afghanistan with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. During a firefight with the Taliban, he risked his life under heavy enemy fire to rescue three Afghan soldiers cut off from friendly forces and return the bodies of two dead Afghan soldiers under the ethos that “no one gets left behind.” For his heroic efforts on the battlefield, SFC Ryan Hendrickson was awarded a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor.
An engaging and harrowing account, “Tip of the Spear” tells the amazing story of one Green Beret’s indomitable spirit.
The book signing will take place at 6 p.m., Friday, October 9 at Stripes Pub & Grill, located at 1878 Andorra Street in Navarre.
Sept 12th is a significant day for me, one that changed my life for the better. Sept 12th 2010 is the day I stepped on an IED that almost took my life. It’s not the fact of what happened 10 years ago today, but more of what I’ve done with my life since that day. I made up my mind early on that I would not let my injuries take me over, I would not be a victim of lifes ugly circumstances. I wanted to use this experience to make myself a better and stronger person, to give something back instead of always taking away. There are many stories like mine and I know a lot of people will be able to relate so I used my experience to write a book which I feel could reach many. This book could reach those who may be looking for answers or in a dark place and need to know that regardless of how we served, military, first responders, medical or anything, we all can learn from each others story to make ourselves better. We can refuse to become a victim and refuse to adopt the victimization mentality taking control of our lives and making a positive impact on society.
You are never alone in the fight and reaching out is critical in ones recovery. Theres always a friend or family who can relate and many different organizations that do so much for veterans and go above and beyond ensuring no one gets left behind.
I want to send a big thank you to the many organizations that are there to help military veterans like myself and a shout out to a few that directly helped me. @greenberetfoundation, @specialforcesassociation, @specialoperationsfoundation
I look forward to seeing what this next year has in store for @tipofthespearrmh.
God bless America!
De Oppresso Liber
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