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Army Staff Sgt. Ryan L. Zorn

Died November 16, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


35, of Upton, Wyo.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died Nov.16 in Tal Afar, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover.

Soldier planned to be career serviceman

By Matt Joyce

The Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Zorn, who died in a vehicle accident in Iraq, knew early in life that he wanted to join the military, and he planned to spend his career in the service, his mother said.

Zorn, who grew up in Upton, Wyo., died Nov. 16 in Tal Afar, Iraq, from injuries suffered in the roll-over crash, the Defense Department said. He was 35.

JoAnn Zorn, of Wright, Wyo., said her son was on his third tour in Iraq when he was killed. During a 15-year military career, he had been stationed across the United States and in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Korea, his mother said.

“He had always wanted to go into the service, as much as we tried to talk him out of it,” JoAnn Zorn said. “At high school, when they would have career day or anything like that, he said, ‘No I want to go into service,’ and that’s what he did.”

Zorn was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. He trained there to be part of a military transition team — a small group of soldiers that advises and teaches Iraqi soldiers — and deployed in March for a yearlong tour.

The military said it’s investigating the roll-over crash that killed Zorn. JoAnn Zorn said the family has not yet heard any details about the crash except that her son suffered traumatic head injuries.

“He loved his job,” JoAnn Zorn said. “He loved being a soldier and he loved serving his country.”

Connie Andersen, a Wright resident and family friend, remembered Zorn as a kindhearted person who enjoyed being around his family and helping others.

JoAnn Zorn said her son would volunteer for holiday work shifts so other soldiers with family members could spend the holiday with their families. Whenever he came home to visit, he was a “family man,” she said.

“He had a nephew and two nieces,” JoAnn Zorn said. “He didn’t drink, and when he came home on leave, he always just stayed at home with the family.”

Zorn liked playing cards with his mother and nieces during visits, Andersen said.

Zorn is survived by his parents, Myron and JoAnn of Wright, a brother, a grandmother and others. Funeral arrangements were pending.


Was in military for 15 years

The Associated Press

Ryan Zorn used to volunteer for holiday work shifts so other soldiers could spend time with their families, his mother said.

When he made it home, he played cards with his mother and two nieces.

“He didn’t drink, and when he came home on leave, he always just stayed at home with the family,” said the soldier’s mother, JoAnn Zorn, of Wright, Wyo.

Zorn, 35, of Upton, Wyo., died Nov. 16 in a vehicle rollover in Tal Afar, Iraq. He was based at Fort Riley, Kan.

He trained there to be part of a military transition team — a small group of soldiers that advises and teaches Iraqi soldiers — and deployed in March for a yearlong tour.

Zorn was on his third tour in Iraq when he was killed, and during a 15-year military career, he had been stationed across the United States and in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Korea, his mother said.

“He had always wanted to go into the service, as much as we tried to talk him out of it,” JoAnn Zorn said. “At high school, when they would have career day or anything like that, he said, ‘No I want to go into service,’ and that’s what he did.”

Zorn also is survived by his father, Myron; his brother; his grandmother; his nephew; and other relatives.

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