Editor's note: A combat wounded veteran, Ryan served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. While deployed to Iraq in 2005, his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He works as the Wounded Warrior Project's national Combat Stress Recovery Program director.
On Nov. 29, 2005, my life changed forever. I was a 24-year-old U.S. Army armor captain deployed to Taji, Iraq, when my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. On that day, I lost two of my soldiers, Sgts. Jerry Mills and Donald Hasse, and I lost my right arm and left leg.
My wife and I are de-cluttering the house, a move that, as we review the detritus of the decades, is overdue. It turns out that in addition the massage table (?—we think that’s what it is—someone left it at the house), many coffee table books, tons of hangers, unused bathroom wall tiles and such, there is a challenge coin collection, maybe 75 in all, that must go. What should I do with it?