Dec. 3, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany, of
wounds suffered Nov. 21 at Kandahar province, when insurgents attacked
his unit with an improvised explosive device.
|From Idaho Local News 8 localnews8.com
Idaho Falls Soldier Laid To Rest
By Caleb James
POSTED: 2:08 pm MST December 12, 2011
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -- After arriving in Idaho via charted aircraft on Sunday, the body of U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan David Sharp was laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls on Monday afternoon.
Sharp died Dec. 3 from injuries sustained in an I.E.D. attack during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
At Monday's service, Sharp's sister Michelle Harrison delivered his "Life Sketch." She spoke of a boy who grew up loving childhood.
Harrison spoke of her brother's close relationship with their grandmother, who would often call him, "My Ryan."
Army officials also spoke at the service. Brigadier General Alan Gayhart said Sharp was helping a fellow soldier, Sgt. First Class Murray, when an improvised explosive device detonated Nov. 21.
"Everyone knew Cpl. Sharp," said Gayhart during the service.
Sharp's rank was upgraded from corporal to sergeant after his death.
Graveside, Idaho Governor Butch Otter paid his respects. Flags were presented to Sharp's two young daughters, 8-year-old Sarah and 6-year-old Mia.
The other soldier's in Sharp's company returned home to the U.S. this week. Harrison said the timing was bittersweet, but that Sharp's family is glad his brothers are coming home safely.
Sharp planned to be honorably discharged in May 2012.
|From the Idaho Statesman IdahoStatesman.com
Family, friends remember fallen Idaho Falls soldier
By SVEN BERG - Post Register
When he was a boy, Ryan Sharp was a reason to worry.
As a man, he became a source of pride.
Friends and family members who gathered Monday to say goodbye to Sharp recalled an adventurous spirit in the Skyline High School graduate that led to some shining moments as well as some moments that were simply frightening for those who cared about him.
"A few of those adventures still provide us with laughs to this day," said Michelle Harrison, Sharp's sister.
Sharp died Dec. 3 from wounds he suffered in Afghanistan when an improvised bomb exploded near him in late November. He was 28 years old. Besides his parents, two brothers and two sisters, Sharp leaves behind two daughters, 6-year-old Mia and 8-year-old Sarah.
Harrison recounted a story from her brother's early years that illustrated just how strong-willed he was. When he was just a toddler, Harrison said, Sharp was so insulted by being confined to his playpen that he kicked out a few of its bars and escaped.
Years later, Harrison said, Sharp took a reckless, blindfolded joyride down some foothills east of Idaho Falls - the kind of stunt that must have wrung his parents' nerves.
But Sharp was more than a rebel. As the people who knew him best shared their memories, the word "integrity" kept coming up.
"There was never a promise he made that he did not keep," family friend Mark McBride said. "But he was smart enough not to make promises he knew he wouldn't keep."
Like anyone with a strong personality, Sharp wasn't perfect. His family wouldn't go into detail, but alluded to a difficult chapter in his life.
"He struggled a lot with finding his self worth," Harrison said. "We worried about him."
The turning point in Sharp's life appears to have been military service. McBride said the military enhanced in Sharp qualities like loyalty, duty, respect, honor and, of course, integrity.
Harrison said the U.S. Army helped her brother find himself. She said he was proud to be a soldier, and that being one helped him relate to family members who also had military experience.
"He realized that he had something to offer, that he was talented," she said.
Details of the incident that led to Sharp's death are unclear. He served as a tank gunner, but his unit was on foot patrol in Afghanistan's Kandahar province Nov. 21 when a bomb exploded, severely injuring him, an Army spokesman said. Sharp survived nearly two weeks in a medically induced coma before succumbing to his wounds in a hospital in Germany.
In recognition of Sharp's contribution to the nation, the Army posthumously promoted him from corporal to sergeant and awarded him the Bronze Star - one of the military's most prestigious medals.
The people who knew him would rather have him back - the father, son, brother and friend taken from them too soon. Still, they know the kind of man he was, and they're not surprised by the accolade.
"He will always be remembered as a hero," Harrison said. "Our hero and our country's hero."