Special to the Village News
An accident on the night of June 11, when a motorcycle hit the rear end of a wedding party bus that had broken down on the side of the road, propelling the motorcyclist down a ravine, reverberated through a tight knit brotherhood of Marines and first responders.
Ssgt. Cody Ryan was the motorcyclist that fateful evening. "He had a heartbeat the whole time we were with him," said North County Fire Protection District spokesman and fire responder John Choi, who also served in the USMC.
Ryan died at the hospital. The Village News story was shared among several Marines and their families.
"When I was in a bad car accident and spent several months in the hospital, Cody looked after my wife and children, and set up a GoFundMe to support my family," said Chris Nichols, who served in the same USMC unit as Ryan. "He really stepped in and took care of things."
"Something like this happens to Cody and it takes you off guard," Nichols said. He described Ryan as being 5'9", 165-170 lbs.
Now Nichols, and the unit leader, who we need to keep anonymous because of his upcoming deployment, have set up a GoFundMe account: http://www.gofundme.com/f/u-can-do-anything-once-cody-ryan.
Because Ryan had recently separated from the Marine Corps with an Honorable Discharge, he had no life insurance at the time of his accident, his friends explained. "We set up the account to pay for his funeral services, and then to set up a trust for his son, Paxton, 4 years old."
Ryan enlisted 10 years ago, and he and his anonymous buddy became fast friends. They served together through several deployments of MARSOC, Marine Corps Special Operations Command. "We were friends from Day One," Ryan's friend said.
He explained that Ryan was a Critical Skills Operator, akin to a Navy Seal.
"He had a magnetic personality," his friend said. "He never tried to be the center of attention, but always ended up there. He was the asshole you loved and if you ever needed help, he'd do anything for you."
"He loved Texas Hold'Em, and was a crazy good golfer. He spent time with his son Paxton and took him on hikes and to trampoline parks. He was the kind of dude that when he told you a story, you'd think it was a lie, but after knowing him a year and a half, I found out that with him 99% of his stories were true," his friend said.
He explained that Ryan was an avid motorcyclist, and wasn't speeding, there was no clear toxicology report, and it was a freak accident. "His accident was four days after his other best friend, Kevin, passed away on his motorcycle," his friend said.
Ryan's anonymous friend is traveling to the area this weekend to meet the first responders, and then he and other friends from the Marine Corps days, are going to take Ryan's body home to Newark, Ohio. They will have a private viewing on Thursday, June 23. Then on Friday, June 24, they will have a Celebration of Life for Ryan.
"The Marine Corps has you fill out these forms where you write down what you want for your funeral. Cody said he wants to have a raging dance floor and party, and that's what we are giving him," his friend said.
Semper fi Cody Ryan and God speed.