Pocahontas County Grad Lee Ryder Returns Home A Proud Newly Minted US Marine

Dunmore, Wv – As I looked down the hall way of WVMR’s Frost studio, I saw a figure approaching that looked vaguely familiar. But yet quite different all decked out in the classic United States Marine Corps Dress Blue Uniform. Fortunately, I knew that Lee Ryder was stopping by to say Hi. Lee was one of the voices behind the Jungle Cat Radio Show that Alleghany Mountain Radio aired last winter on Saturdays.

Lee’s in on Hometown Recruited Duty and 10 day leave, after finishing Recruit Training at Parris Island, South Carolina. I asked Lee what his contemporaries thought about his new look.

“They all see a change, especially, my parents, they still have a way,” he says. “They know it’s still me deep down but I think they see that I’m more responsible, more respectful, I have more grasp on what it feels like to be a grown man, more than a teenager in High school, that’s for sure.”

Lee’s USMC Recruiter Sgt Ready was with him and I asked him to tell me about his experience with Lee from the first time he met him until now.

“From the time I met him at the High School with his long scruffy hair, there’s been a drastic change,” says Sgt Ready. “From the Delayed Entry program up until the time he went to recruit training, and then once he’s back. I mean it feels really good for me as the Marine Recruiter to be able to see a difference, a positive influence on a young man’s life then especially, letting him feel the feeling of seeing teachers and classmates and the pride that they see in him and the changes.”

“So it just makes me proud as a Marine Recruiter to see people in the community looking at him different, looking at him in a more positive manner and it’s a joy. So I thoroughly enjoy being able to bring him back into the community.”

I asked Lee what and where is the next step in his Marine Career.

“Yes, I’m going to Combat Training in Jacksonville, NC, then I’ll be going to my MOS school, School Combat Engineer 1371,” he says. “I’m not exactly sure where it’s at in NC, but it’s in NC; I’ll be going straight from Jacksonville to it. As soon as I get out of combat training I’ll be going straight to MOS school.”

And finally, I asked Lee that if he could tell everyone what he got from Recruit Training, what would that be?

“Honestly the one thing I took from recruit training is the Devil Dog, it’s not the size of the fight the dog’s in but the size of the fight inside the dog,” he says. “That’s the one thing I took away from it. Because when I went down there, I was probably one of the little guys in recruit training and I made it through. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can’t do something. If you have the commitment, you can make it.”

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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