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SPC. Lyle Wyman Rymer II

June 17, 2012

As America is coming to know, part of this project’s mission is to acquaint the American public with with our service men and women who have given their lives for the nation we love. Our mission is to tell their story, celebrate their lives and let their families know how much they’re appreciated.

This week’s American Hero doesn’t just hit close to home; he’s from our home.

Lyle Rymer was a small town boy from eastern Oklahoma. His best friend Chris Fuller told of the days he and Lyle spent fishing. “He had good values. He wanted to make something of his life and make a difference. He was my best friend and I’ll never forget him.”

Lyle served in the Arkansas Army National Guard with the 39th Infantry Brigade, 239th Engineer Company. His goal was simple; to serve his state, serve his country and help the people of a war torn country.

Lyle died from sniper fire Jan. 28 in Iraq while guarding members of his unit who were erecting barricades in preparation for the Jan. 30 elections. Most soldiers say they didn’t protect and defend the people of Iraq. Lyle’s mission was clearly different.

I, personally, go to Lyle’s resting site at Fort Smith National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas on a regular basis. I was there two days ago. It’s a quiet, solemn place of remembrance and respect. Lyle’s family and friends loved him. The people of Iraq owe him a debt of gratitude. The citizens of the United States of America owe him a “thank you” greater than we can ever give him. Those who knew him called him a friend.

Today, we call him a hero.


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