It's been a full year since Real World: Brooklyn's Ryan was called back to active duty in Iraq. For us, time has flown. It seems like just yesterday that we were interviewing the aspiring writer and filmmaker at the taping of the Brooklyn reunion. (The military allowed Ryan a 24-hour leave from training camp in order to shoot the show in New York City.)
For him, time has moved less quickly. Being an American soldier in Iraq -- for the second time -- can wear on a person.
Now, Ryan is approaching the finish line of his final Middle East tour (he comes home in January) -- and as our country celebrated Veterans Day, we sat down with him this morning via Skype to commend his bravery and ask some personal questions about life overseas. Check out his video message to those of you who watched tonight's Return to Duty special, then click here for our full interview with Sergeant Conklin.
Bonus Clip: Ryan did his first tour of duty in 2006, when the situation in Iraq was much more dire than it is today. After the jump, hear Ryan explain how some of his fears were put to rest this second time around.