Camp Ryan Adams

Sergeant Ryan Adams was one of the best men to never return from war. He was a son and brother, a leader and a joker, liked and loved by everyone who met him. With his patrol cap cocked on the back of his head and a grin full of chewing tobacco, he could make anyone laugh. 

I had the honor to know Sgt Ryan Adams, albeit from another platoon. He was the kind of leader I knew would be there for any troop that needed him, regardless of where they came from. Both of us being from northern Wisconsin, we deployed as Combat Engineers to perform Route Clearance missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Our time in Afghanistan started in February of 2009 and we were busy! I remember spending many nights either sleeping in my truck, or on top of it; or in my hammock strung between 2 of them, my rifle hugged to my chest. 

We were performing the most dangerous job on the planet; searching for Improvised Explosive Devices, or bombs in common language. Placing a hidden bomb in the middle of the road was an effective and fairly routine practice to expect, as no men had to be expended, trained nor armed in order to fight us. Equipped with specialized trucks that could deflect the power of the explosion while protecting those inside, we drove, often for days, on little dirt mountain passes looking for those bombs so that we could escort troops and cargo, following in our tire tracks at a safe distance behind us.

I experienced countless 3 day missions that lasted for weeks. Eating nothing but Meals Ready to Eat, drinking nothing but Rip-Its, the Chow Halls version of Red Bull, and sweating so much that upon my return my pants could stand by themselves, without me in them. 

My time in Afghanistan was a teacher of many things. I learned how to be an expert at weapon systems, and expert driver responsible for $30 million dollars of equipment, an expert at responding with superior force to defeat the enemy, and an expert in my life saving medical skills. I learned what it means to follow men into war, facing certain death and how to come out alive. I learned leadership. I learned strategy.

The life of Ryan Adams perished on October 2, 2009, from a complex attack. This was the day I learned the value of life and of loss. To this day, I remember what it feels like to wake up and be told that one of your leaders, on of your friends, one of your brothers had died. To this day I miss him, to this day I remember him, and to this day my heart hurts for him and for his family.  I thank god every day that our company only suffered the loss of one soldier during our time in service to our countrymen. 

The Mission of Brand of Brothers Coffee Company this month is to honor the life and death of Brother Ryan Adams, and we do so in our act of giving to Camp Ryan Adams, a foundation formed by his brothers. Their mission is to facilitate the emotional healing of disabled and wounded individuals and their families. Special emphasis is focused on U S Military veterans. During the entire month of April, $1 minimum is donated from every item sold on our site to Camp Ryan Adams, whether its a hat, tee, sweatshirt, mug, or package of coffee. 

We have also created a special Camp Ryan Adams collection of gear. We have t shirts, hats and mugs ready and waiting for purchase, with all proceeds from the sale of these items going to support Camp Ryan Adams. The collection can be viewed here:  www.brandofbrotherscoffee.com/collections/camp-ryan-adams

Above all, I want to thank Ryan Adams for the sacrifice he faced every day and ultimately made so that I, his brothers, and his countrymen, shall live.  Let us remember Ryan every day; honor him and his sacrifice, and the sacrifice of countless others; and love him as the great man that he his in all of our hearts.

Gone But Not Forgotten.