Life Lessons Learned by Ret. Colonel Francis X Ryan

Tom (The Sok-Man) McNamara
Tom (The Sok-Man) McNamara
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This book is a hand of God book, you see Retired Colonel Francis X Ryan USMCR and I had the opportunity to meet crossing the United States in a small town called Tucumcari, New Mexico in the middle of nowhere. He was on his mission to walk across America raising awareness of the financial crisis and cutting of programs to our mental health system which disrupts and undermines the abilities of professionals to help children with emotional and behavioural problems. He was walking in the name of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd who he has worked with and believes in their work developing programs and delivering much love to our suffering mentally ill students. As God would have it, I just so happened to stop in this small dying little town of Tucumcari, New Mexico which was once a booming metropolis on Route 66, with famous places such as The Blue Swallow Hotel, The Murals of Tucumcari, and I cannot go without mentioning The Odeon Theatre with its Art Deco interior redone by owners Christy Dominguez and Robert Lopez these two are instrumental in the reason I stayed longer that I wanted and should have which gave me the possibility to meet Retired Colonel Francis X Ryan. I will talk much more about Christy and Robert in my own book later down the road but this town has so much history attached to Route 66 it is almost impossible and a sin to drive by at 75 miles an hour not even to take 1 day out of your life and experience history from the past. As I was saying I parked my RV in a local area surrounded by nostalgia, I gathered up some socks, grabbed my camera and I was off to explore this beautiful gem with neon lights aglow. As I strolled down the thoroughfare snapping pictures left and right a gentleman that was passing said excuse me so we wouldn’t bump into each other. We stopped I noticed he was dressed in khakis, with a soldiers lid, cane, walking shoes we started talking he told me he was walking across America (according to his book notes) I was a “little incredulous” I may have been since I was in the middle of nowhere traveling the United States finding homeless individuals and giving them new pairs of socks and good conversation, to find another individual walking across America was quite shocking to say the least. Anyhow we talked, and met for mass the next day at Saint Anne’s before parting company that was in 2014 since then we really had not talked or kept up with each other until recently when I saw his name appear on LinkedIn. I contact him to see how he was doing, I knew he had written a book and I had purchased it, but like all good intentions it has been sitting in my Kindle waiting for me to open. I finished the book in a 2 day read and I am in no way Evelyn Woods, for those of you who had taken speed reading courses you will understand my joke. That being said for me it was a book I could not put down maybe I could relate to all the places Frank talked about or the super people he met but it really doesn’t matter why, I just could not put down his book. In each chapter he seemed to impart wisdom of things he learned as he journeyed the physical unknown and the emotional unknown taking on such a daunting task as walking across America. His wisdom, knowledge, fortitude are reasons enough to pick this book up but more than that as you read you will find out about a man who is deeply religious, a fabulous father, a friend that I would like to become to my friends, a businessman, and a very proud veteran who served in some of the newer battles of our times. To Ret. Colonel Francis X Ryan I would like to thank you for writing such an inspirational book and for serving our great Nation……Semper Fi.
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