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Ryan Isom

In Memory of Sgt Ryan Christopher Isom, USMC      

February 18, 1986 – September 21, 2021

Veteran: Served 2 tours in Iraq

The movie Top Gun came on. That and To Hell and Back with Audrey Murphy were his favorites. In fact, when he was about 7, we had to buy To Hell and Back because we kept renting it.

As an adult he watched all the war documentaries. He loved learning all about it. Him and his dad would talk a lot about it.

I had told him Kelsey (his wife) and I had such a good relationship and she was like a daughter – that I always thought y’all would help me in old age.  Even with all his problems he said “Mom, don’t worry I will take care of you.” The 2 loves of his life were his wife Kelsey who died 18 months before him. His heart remained broken. They were true soul mates.  She was like a daughter to me. We talked every day. His other love was his son Kayden. He is 9 and we are raising him. Ryan loved him so much. He was so proud of him. He also had a step son 3 years younger than Kayden that he took care of like his own child. Ryan loved children.

Ryan loved dogs. We had 5 acres and surrounding neighborhoods on at least 5. One place there was 100 acres next to us. We would have up to 3 dogs. After that we’d find them homes. Ryan’s 2 favorites were a black lab and dalmatian named Domino. He would ring the doorbell to come inside. 

The other was Rocky. The most Heinz 57 variety around. Beautiful big dog. Smart. Went everywhere the boys went. He was their protector. He had a liver spotted dalmatian named Dixie.

I was very close to my grandma. She was incredible and did so much with us growing up. I took care of her the last 2 1/2 years of her life. Ryan was in high school and they had such a special bond. Even in her 90s she was going to go get a tattoo with him. Even though she couldn’t do things anymore she still had something that formed between then. When I needed to run out or take a nap. Ryan would stay with her. If she fell, he would just scoop him up in his arms and pick her up. She would get so excited if Ryan took her to the beauty shop or picked her up from the senior center.

Ryan was known to be able to come up with anything and everything they needed in Iraq. No one could figure out how he did it. One time he jumped on some kind of 4 wheeler and chased down a convoy. He came back with everything they needed.

I will never forget the day you were born. I fell in love with you instantly. We teased you. I had so much back labor and you were coming so fast they could not give me anything. Well, you came out sucking your thumb and bruised my tailbone. We said you were a pain in the butt.

You had one speed and that was high. You talked paragraphs when you were 15 Months old. When standing in line at the store the man in front asked how old is that boy?  Your favorite word was why. You needed to know the answer to everything. You talked constantly. Nonstop!!

You loved to build Legos and take things apart and try to get them to work. Sometimes you did. Especially when you got older. We had a bucket of parts for you to create things with.

You and Joshua were in swimming lessons at 6 Months old. We did so much together. Zoo, park, Library, nursing home. We played.

You were the one that made us laugh. You were the jokester. You were always smiling and happy. 

Ryan was using fractions when he was less than 2 years old. I had just put both boys in the back seat in their car seats and opened a bottle of coke and took a sip. They both started yelling that they want some coke. I handed it back to Ryan and said ‘you can have half of it’ (not really realizing they probably didn’t know what ‘half’ was). Josh started yelling ‘dad he’s drinking all of it’. I took it from Ryan and said ‘I told you to drink only half’. He looked at me with a big grin and said ‘ha ha I drank three fourths of it’.

You and Joshua started skiing at 3 years old. You were so good at it. Both of you would ski black slopes. Your favorite was pinball. We couldn’t ski with you. You were much better than us. Dad did go down pin ball once and said “never again.”

You were always so determined. I remember you learning to stand. You would stay there for 30 minutes or more trying to stand. You were not going to give up. You wanted to learn to juggle. You practiced constantly. Once you learned you did not do it again.

You always had a big caring heart. You had many friends. Our house was always full of friends.

You played baseball until you aged out. You were a great catcher. Dad was always your coach. You started playing football in 3rd grade and loved it. You played till 8th grade. But only quit because you couldn’t stand the coach. You were also good at pole vaulting.

The girls in school considered you their protector. You were always watching out for them. Your friendship lasted a life time. When you passed you still had so many friends from school. Along with the new ones.

You are a Marine. You loved being a Marine. You served your country well. You found out your good friend Joe was in Iraq where you were. It was a huge base. However, you never gave up until you found him. You were known for being able to come up with anything y’all needed.

I am proud of you. Kelsey was your soul mate and I loved her dearly. It broke your heart when she died. Kayden was the joy of your life. You loved him so much. You were so excited when he was born. You had so much love for that boy.

You went to tech school and earned 2 degrees. You were so proud and happy. I was so proud of you.

When you passed and I wrote on your Facebook page. I found out how many lives you touched.

Even though you were having problems you reached out to others. So many people responded about what a good friend you were. How you were always there for them even though you are suffering. That you were kind and generous. You brought love, laughter, and joy to many people.

I will always miss you. I love you with all my heart and soul. You will always live in my heart, mind, and memories. Forever and always my son you will be.

While Ryan served in the Marine Corps, he earned the following awards. Bronze star device means that he was awarded it twice. Navy Sea Service Deployment ribbon (with bronze star device); Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon; Iraq War service ribbon (with bronze star device). National Defense Service ribbon; Marine Good Conduct ribbon; Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon.

Final orders and a last salute: To Ryan C. Isom, Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

Thank you for your service well done, and for your sacrifice, Sergeant. You did your duty; you’ve honored your Corps and your country.

You may stand down now and rest easy. You’ve earned it.

You are now assigned to the United States Marine Corps Heaven’s Detachment.

Your duty there will be to guard Heaven’s gates. I know they’ll be in good hands.

As the Marine hymn says “when the army and the navy happen upon Heaven’s scenes – they’ll see the streets are guarded…

by United States Marines”.

Semper Fi Marine.

Resided in Springtown, Texas as a young child, followed by Greenbriar, Arkansas, Harrison, then back to Conway, Arkansas.  

State he called Home: Arkansas

Resting Place: At home in Vilonia, Arkansas

Isom Ryan USMC