I first met Ryan when I went to show support for Schuyler Barbeau in Seattle. He was a quiet person. In the background. Yet when Maureen introduced me to him, his smile was warm and he was kind and genuine.
I could tell by the way that he carried himself that he was of former service. We didn’t have time to talk, to be honest with you, I haven’t talked to Ryan much at all. What I am going to tell you is from observance, what Maureen and a few close friends have told me and what I have gotten from his energy and demeanor in my brief encounters with this intellectual powerhouse of a man.
Why do I call him that you ask?
Most do not know a lot about Ryan and I truly think he prefers it that way. How can you spin something the wrong way if you don’t know?
Ryan did serve in the military, he served in Iraq…thank you sir. You took that oath to uphold the constitution and you continue to do so this day.
He specialized in intelligence, long range surveillance (staying well hidden to get the scope of things for Intel), infantry, reconnaissance…this makes Ryan a force to be reckoned with, not only in body but in mind.
Someone brought something to my attention…and it makes sense to me…knowing what I know about Ryan. Listen…Listen close, think please…think about who was in LaVoy’s truck, they kept asking who was left, Shawna said nobody…they didn’t see Ryan…what did they do? Who was a huge threat to them on their own level…not a rancher? Poor Ryan, this quiet man, who vowed to serve his country and protect the constitution.
The next time I saw Ryan after Seattle was at the Resource Center that first night. They were all relaxing at what they called “The Mob”. Jason, Jon, and Ryan. They all were happy to see us again; Ryan was off to the back a bit, observing…that is what he does. He came forward said hi, filled us in on events quietly.
I get from him that he cares so very deeply about all that he does, but that maybe he has a hard time trusting new people and I was still new. These others though, I feel the strong bonds of trust he has with them, the loyalty and the love. I know that he would lay down his life for the men and woman in this room. I also know that as I get to know him better, I too would fall among those ranks.
As I said I don’t know Ryan that well, I can only go off my small encounters with him, for that I am sorry my friends, I wish I had more time to fellowship with him, KNOW him better. My instinct, my heart, my read of people has always been pretty dead on…Ryan’s heart is as true and strong as his loyalty to those he chooses to let in, and he chooses wisely. He has to, I feel he has been betrayed at some point, I sense a wounded past…that pains me greatly because this man does not deserve that nor what he is getting now.
The last time I saw Ryan was when Matt and I were leaving the Resource Center on my second visit. I had stopped to give Jason Patrick a hug, let him know I would text when I made it home safe and tell him I would try to make it back again to see him and the others soon. I saw Ryan walk up behind him further back by the building, coming up about 8 feet behind Jason, but not coming all the way to us. I looked up and smiled at him as Jason was talking, he smiled back. Jason and I hugged and he said goodbyes to Matt through the truck window, held the door for me while I got in…I said Hi to Ryan, he just waved and smiled.
I felt something…from him that day. I still haven’t put my finger on it. Did he maybe feel an unknown about his fate as some of us often do? I don’t know. Maybe I will ask him when I write him. Maybe he will tell me, maybe that is for him to know.
Ryan and I are acquaintances by any other persons definition, I hope he considers me as his friend, I consider him mine and will be there for him, even if it is how he seemed to be there for those at the Resource Center…quiet, unnoticed a lot of the time, in the background; observing all that is going on, being said, collecting information. Keeping it close to my heart until he needs it most, sometimes I think that is the best kind of friend to have, the one that sees everything, says little, and gives you the most when you need it.
That is who I feel Ryan Payne is…at least to me, as I said with the little time I have spent; I may be totally wrong…even if I am, I am going to be here observing, I will stand when he needs me to. I hope you will to.