A day at the front of two ongoing conflicts overseas holds the possibility the worst could happen to our servicemen and women. A Colorado veteran of the war in Iraq turned the page from his days in combat to a future in the field of medicine, armed with lessons he learned along the way.
The cap and gown of college graduation symbolized the end of one journey for Ryan Martyn and the start of another.
"I got into medical school earlier this week," Martyn said the day of his graduation from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
His decision to save lives came from a season when he risked his. Before going to college, he cleared bombs from the streets of Iraq with the U.S. Navy.
"Daily, we were getting ambushed," he said. "IED's were exploding. Many of my friends were injured."
It was in battle when he chose to one day be a part of a class of graduates.
"I witnessed the trauma surgeons save numerous lives, my friends' lives and got to witness what they did first hand. It was really inspiring to me, and I decided that's what I want to do with my life."
Ryan went home to his wife Michelle, and went right to work as a student, first at Arapahoe Community College. He then transferred to UCCS where he received the Morgan Berthrong Scholarship.
"It's been a long time coming, but he did it in three years, which is amazing," said his wife, Michelle. "We are so proud of him."
Ryan now holds a degree in biology, and scored "A's" in all of his classes.
"This day feels amazing, honestly," he said about taking a step to reaching his dream of touching the lives of others.
Martyn will next attend classes at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. School starts again next fall.