Fallen Army Ranger Soldier Gets Final Wish
Last Dying Wishes Made True…. In Memory of Fallen Comrade Sgt Ryan Baum Who Died 18 May 2007 in Iraq
Army Sgt. Baum, a 1997 graduate of Smokey Hill High School in Aurora, Colorado, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.
A qualified Army ranger Medic, ‘Doc Baum’ sadly lost his life on May 18th, 2007, after sustaining wounds when his unit came into contact with enemy forces in Karmah, Iraq.
His comrades described him as fine soldier, an amazing person, a father and a son who was talented, dedicated and proud. High school friends remember him as a kid who once defied authority but became a man who others on the front lines could count on.
Ryan had been just one day away from a two-week leave, in which he planned to return home to witness the birth of his first child, a daughter named Leia.
But Ryan’s strong morals not to let down his fellow troops, prompted him to volunteer for one final mission – clearly the rare breed who placed duty and sacrifice above his own needs and wants.
For the family, emotional wounds run deep, only now are they learning to talk about their loss. And back in Pennsylvania, where Ryan’s wife, Amber, cares for their young baby Leah, hate, anger and sorrow can keep her in bed for days. It’s purely the love for their child that helps her struggle on.
Amber, who lives with her parents, fills the Pennsylvanian home with pictures of her husband and also makes regular road trips back to Baum family home in Colorado. For her, it’s a way of keeping the connection with her husband alive.
And besides the loving collection of photos, Amber adorns baby Leia with another sentimental reminder, a necklace with Ryan’s thumb print.
Ryan’s father, Richard Baum, says painful memories are still easily triggered. He remembers how Ryan had loved babies and how excited he was to come home and hold his daughter close in his caring arms. When they recovered Ryan from the battlefield, an ultrasound of Leia had been found in his pocket.
Dana Baum, Ryan’s mother said,
“That’s all he wanted to do, is come home and put her on his chest,”
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