Ryan Kraeger was born in Upstate NY, and grew up on a dairy farm, the second of seven children. He was homeschooled from kindergarten through highschool and raised in the Catholic faith. He joined the Army at in 2002 at 17 years old.
In the Army Ryan served as a Combat Engineer in such diverse places as Korea, Kansas, Iraq and Afghanistan and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. In 2008 he passed Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) and attended the Army’s Special Forces Qualification Course from 2009 to 2011, graduating as a Medical Sergeant and earning the coveted Green Beret. He served on an on operational detachment with First Special Forces Group for three years, during which time he was deployed to Thailand, Nepal and the Philippines, learned to rappel and ski, organized refugee evacuations in Tacloban, Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, and earned his BS degree from George Washington University.
He married his best friend, Kathleen, in May 2014, and now they live in the Tacoma, WA area with their baby daughter, Evelyn. Ryan is now in the Washington National Guard, and is completing undergraduate requirements and applying for a Physician’s Assistant Masters Program from the University of Washington.
He continues to try to pray, study and train every day, and look for ways to share the joy of living life to the full.
“Oh! So you take notes in a courtroom? You must type really fast!”
“No! Sonographer. I see with sound. Ultrasound.”
“Ohhhhhhh! So you look at babies?”
“No. Vascular Ultrasound. I look at arteries and veins.”
“Really? That’s a job?”
Sigh. “Yes. Yes it is.”
She also bought a house at 22 years old, and paid off her student loans. She has a passion for traveling and has visited every state west of the Mississippi, and eleven countries of Europe, including Iceland, Ireland, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Czech Republic. She has also done a mission trip to Honduras and has visited Panama and Germany on study abroad.
Her mission in life is to be as awesome as possible by the time she is 90, and then be a cross between Ida Schorno and Mary Ulrich.
“Umm, the readers don’t know who Ida and Mary are.”
“Oh well, their loss.”
(Ida and Mary are two 90+ year old ladies that Kathleen grew up admiring. Mary has since turned 100 in 2014).
Evie was born in February 2015. She was baptized on May 5th, 2015. She has since grown like a weed and is now unusually tall, strong and articulate for her age. She is stubborn and independent, and loves hikes and being outdoors, reading books, and going to Jesus’ house. She hates bedtime, getting her hair washed, and sitting still.
Ellie is one year old, and is the happiest and snuggliest Kraeger. She can walk and say words and her favorite things are climbing and reading books with Mommy and Daddy. Her favorite words are “Hi!” “Yes!” “Daddy,” and “Juice.” She hates car seats and not being allowed to climb in high places.