Ryan and baya from the real world dating
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Not long after we see Conklin celebrating the election of Barack Obama, who he — and so many others — hopes might be able to bring the war to a quick end, he learns he’s been called back into service.
Were there any opportunities that arose after being on the show that are now on hold? I’ve met a lot of people and there are a lot of avenues that I want to approach and get into. Obviously there’s work with the IAVA and veterans organizations that I want to get into. That’s my passion and I can see myself doing that as long as I’m alive, I guess.Kind of back when I first started in the “Real World” house I didn’t want to tell anybody that I was in the Army because I wanted them to get to know me for me. I don’t tell anyone I was on a TV show because I want them to get to know me for me as a soldier. On the show you were frank in your opposition to the war, especially the “backdoor draft” [referring to the military’s stop-loss program].And the ones that do recognize me, which is weird because I have a haircut and I’m in a uniform like them … There’s questions, obviously; the common question is, “What was it like living with a tranny,” stuff like that. I know that I’d be inquisitive myself if someone from “The Real World” was in my platoon. Did you get any push-back from the Army in regards to that?What was it like to watch the episode where you learn you’re going back to Iraq? Past members of "The Real World," "Road Rules," "Are You the One?I would say it taught me to be a lot stronger than I am and not just in a physical way, but emotional. Being able to deal with stress and changes to the point that it doesn’t get you down, doesn’t ruin things, keeps you levelheaded, thinking straight. They didn’t really show me laughing my ass off after that with Chet. saying, “I think he has [post-traumatic stress disorder]” and Scott saying maybe he heard bombs in Iraq.
Being able to deal with things that are out of your grasp. Did you disagree with the way anything was portrayed on the show? We made a whole joke about it, and they didn’t really show us joking before or after, they just showed me yelling. And as the viewer, the way they see it is Ryan has a severe case of PTSD and he screams a lot.
Salon reached him Tuesday by phone, where he spoke about the reaction to the show he’s received from fellow soldiers — and the Army — and his own morale as he prepares to redeploy.
(You can listen to the interview here.) Do your fellow infantrymen recognize you? Some do, and some don’t have a clue and that’s totally cool.
Conklin enlisted in the Army at age 17 after the events of Sept. Although he tries at first to keep quiet about his service (“I wanted them to get to know me for me,” he says), the MTV series skillfully reveals him as a young man dedicated to his country.
He’s also opposed to the war, and the series films him becoming involved with the activist group Iraq Veterans Against the War.
No, I’m pretty frank with things; the Army never stepped in to say don’t say this or don’t say that.