Two SigEp brothers that bonded during their overlapping time together at UT Martin in the ROTC program.
Two men who served our nation with honor in the United States military.
Two friends that were taken from us much too soon.
We mark Memorial Day each year with a remembrance of Sgt. Israel “Izzy” Paul O’Bryan (’08) and Capt. Robert Austin Ridley (’05). They have joined our Chapter Eternal and their memory will be in our hearts forever.
Sgt. Israel “Izzy” Paul O’Bryan
1986 – 2006
Sergeant O’Bryan was a graduate of Newbern High School in Tennessee. He entered the United States Army on May 25, 2006 after his time at UT Martin. He trained as a Mortarman at Fort Benning, GA. He was later assigned to Battle Company 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry, as a mortarman. Sgt. O’Bryan was appointed as a Squad Leader in 4th Platoon on August 7, 2009.
Sgt. O’Bryan’s was killed in action on June 11, 2010 in Jalula, Iraq. He left behind his wife Brenna and a one-year old son, Turner.
Sgt. O’Bryan’s awards and decoration include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Two Overseas Service Ribbons, Army Valorous Unit Award, Army Meritorious Unit Citation, and Combat Infantryman Badge.
Capt. Robert Austin Ridley
1982 – 2014
Captain Ridley was a graduate of Hunter’s Lane High School in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career as a Marine in 2001 and cross-commissioned into the Army during his time at UT Martin, where he graduated as an officer. As a 2nd Lt., he attended flight school at Ft. Rucker, Alabama and graduated in 2006 as an Apache pilot. He became Captain in 2008 and served two tours in Afghanistan.
Capt. Ridley died March 16, 2014. He left behind his wife Amy.
Capt. Ridley’s awards and decoration include a Bronze Service Medal, Posthumous Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Valor and three Army Commendation Medals among various other military recognitions.