call came around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2006.
"Is this the home of Ryan McCurdy?" the raspy voice asked.
"Could you tell
me who is calling?" I answered warily (Ryan's Mother) before engaging
conversation. "I'm looking for the home of Ryan McCurdy, this is
Clifton Trotter I was with him in Iraq." I finally replied, "Yes,
his home." Corporal Trotter said, "He saved my life!"
Corporal Trotter went on to tell me that he was one of the squad leaders
that Ryan was with in Iraq. He was shutting down a shift of men who
guarding the C-Mac complex, and that he and Ryan were on duty together.
large group of insurgents came upon their group of guards and started
Corporal Trotter went down as he got shot in the neck in the carotid
which also affected his voice. He told me, "I lay in the street
my wife and baby, who was soon to be born, and I knew I was a gonner."
Ryan ran out and started pulling me by my legs to get me to safety behind
the burm." Ryan got him there and was in firing position when he
which proved to be a mortal wound. Corporal Trotter said he lay behind
burm with Ryan and tried to yell for help, but all that would come out
his voice was a whisper due to his injury. The gun battle was fierce
that's why other Marines inside the C-Mac complex joined in the fight.
Corporal Trotter told me how he recently got out of the Bethesda Naval
Hospital for more surgery on his throat due to the gunshot wound. His
Stephanie, had their baby boy on March 25th in Jacksonville and they
him, Christian Ryan. Of course, I was very touched. Corporal Trotter
me, "I cry every night thinking about how Ryan saved my life."
I told him
that Ryan cared for his friends and that he was one of them and that
must have really liked him. I said thats what Ryan did. It was the kind
he would do without hesitation for a friend. I told him that God saw
he had a wife and baby to raise and Ryan would want him to be able to
that too, without giving his life a second thought.
Corporal Trotter said that when he had tower duty, he always asked Ryan
come with him. They were shot at many times in the tower and returned
Corporal Trotter had done five tours of duty overseas in Afghanistan,
Africa, and Iraq. He said that Ryan continually asked him questions
it. He didn't mind answering him because Ryan was so interested in it
He also told me Ryan was the comedian of the group and made everyone
Corporal Trotter is from Alabama and is presently stationed at Parris
Island, South Carolina. He said that he and the other men in the squad
in that Ryan be awarded the NAM Medal (Navy Achievement Medal) a medal
outstanding achievement for saving Cpl Trotter's life.
On Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, Jan McCurdy, Ryan's mother, was presented
the NAM medal which Ryan earned for killing a suicide bomber who was
into a group of Iraqi police recruits on December 26, 2005 in Fallujah,
Iraq. He also earned the medal for saving Corporal Trotter's life on
January 5, 2006.