Ryan is eighteen and lives in Virginia. He joined the infantry in June of 2002 after some seniors in his high school had done the same. You have to get your parents’ approval when you’re under eighteen. He did. He was working one weekend a month in the reserves. After a few months his two best friends enlisted too.
Ryan tries to stay as positive as he can and doesn’t think about the details too much, but when pressed, he is prepared to discuss the worst. “I know it can go on and on. Korea is a threat so we will have to go there eventually. We can’t handle them until Iraq is under control. We can’t fight two wars at once. That’s a risk because Korea might take advantage of that.”
Today, Ryan sits in his room and awaits instructions. He is prepared for battle. “I think it’s pretty much my job to fight the war,” he says, “and because the infantry is the first to go, I figure it’s only a matter of time before I get the call.”