IJAMSVILLE, MD, USA U.S. Army CPT, COMPANY B, 5TH BATTALION, 73D ARMOR, FORT BRAGG, NC BALAD, IRAQ 11/15/2006
History teacher Norm Crosby wrote a recommendation in support of John R. Dennison’s application to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He didn’t have to work too hard.
He was a young man who always knew the right thing to do, whether that was cracking a joke or calling attention to something. He had a presence about him, Dennison said.
Dennison, 24, of Ijamsville, Md., was killed Nov. 15 from small-arms fire in Balad. He was a 2004 graduate of West Point and was assigned to Fort Bragg.
He wrestled and played offensive guard in high school. He was really small, but he had the heart and the strength, said Jonathan Sanderson, a friend. He wasn’t afraid to push around the big guys.
When Dennison’s Cub Scout troop held a bake sale, he decorated his cake to look like an Army seal.
Crosby said Dennison had great promise: I kidded him that I’d see him on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Chemistry teacher Michelle Shearer said Dennison’s personality had a magnetic quality. There isn’t anybody who didn’t like Ryan Dennison, she said.
He was accepted onto the Academy’s skydiving team and became its president his senior year. He married his fellow classmate Haley in July 2004, a month after graduating from West Point. In 2005 they were both stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. She was deployed to Afghanistan in March. He was sent to Kuwait in August and went to Iraq in early September 2006.
He is also survived by his parents, a brother, and a sister.