A true American hero: Ryan Lozier killed in Afghanistan

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Ryan Lozier, 30 year-old son of Phil Lozier of Switzerland County, was killed last week when an improvised explosive device – IED – exploded near him while he was working in Afghanistan.

At the time of his death, Ryan Lozier was working for Global Security Systems, a private security company, but his service to his country is a long and decorated one.

He was a true American hero.

“He’s not gotten back yet,” Phil Lozier said of his son earlier this week. “He’s supposed to be coming into Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and then the ‘Freedom Riders’ will be escorting him back to Middletown.”

Ryan Lozier went into the Army when he was 19 years old with a goal of becoming an Army Ranger, according to his dad. He accomplished that goal, serving with the Army Ranger Battalion for eight years in both Iraq and Afghanistan before leaving the Army and starting to work in the private sector.

“He was in Afghanistan first thing, and he was in Iraq two days before the war started, going in there and knocking stuff out,” Phil Lozier said. “Then after he got out of the military he ended up going back as personal protection, working for contractors setting up security systems and driving people around.”

Even as a civilian, Ryan Lozier worked in dangerous environments.

“I asked him, ‘how often do you get shot at?'” Phil Lozier recalled. “He said, ‘every dag gone day I go out’.”

Phil Lozier said that Ryan Lozier was then picked out of more than 3,000 applicants to work for the Department of Energy, a process that took more than 18 months to do the background checks.

“They knew him and they depended on him,” Phil Lozier said of his son. “They knew if anybody could get the job done, it was him.”

Phil Lozier said that last fall his son told him that the military had called him and wanted him to go back to Afghanistan. Ryan Lozier then left his post with the Department of Energy and headed back to Afghanistan.

“He knew something big was going to happen, and he wanted to be a part of it,” Phil Lozier said. “Two weeks after he got over there, that’s when Obama sent 30,000 troops over there. Ryan’s done so much stuff, it’s unreal.”

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Ryan Lozier was a 1998 graduate of Middletown (Ohio) High School, where he played football. He leaves behind a daughter, Izabella Lynn Lozier, just over six months old, who lives with her mother, Brooke, and her grandparents, Jim and Cindy Goodner in Oak Ridge, Arkansas.

According to an article in the Dayton Daily News, Ryan Lozier was set to marry Gwen Clymo this June.

Ryan Lozier’s body was to be first transported to Dover, Delaware, before making its way back to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Although he was in Afghanistan as a civilian, he is being returned home with honors and a military escort.

“He will be laid to rest in Middletown, but arrangements are pending as the family awaits the return of his body.

“He’s got a friend that he was in the Rangers with,” Phil Lozier said of his son. “And he was a good friend of his, and he’s escorting him back. I can’t believe the military is flying him back, but he’s worked with them so much. He’s coming back with full military honors.”

Phil Lozier said that Ryan loved his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and his dad described him as just a “fun loving guy”.

Although his job was a very serious and important one, his dad said that he was able to separate job and family.

“You would not have ever known what he did for a living,” Phil Lozier said. “it didn’t seem like nothing bothered him, ever. He was the baddest dude going, but to sit and talk with him, he was very nice and laid back and well mannered.”

Ryan Lozier’s job took him back and forth between his home in Amarillo, Texas, and Afghanistan, as contractors who knew of his abilities called him.

Phil Lozier said that while Ryan was working for private contractors, he was also making plans to reenlist and go back into the Rangers. Although Phil Lozier thought Ryan was already back in the military, he later learned that his reenlistment was going to take effect next month.

“They wanted him to come back into the Rangers bad,” Phil Lozier said. “He did a lot of stuff over the past couple of years, it was unreal.”

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Ryan Lozier’s mother, Victoria Lozier, resides in Middletown, Ohio; and Ryan Lozier also has a brother, Benjamin, 29, who also lives in Middletown. Here in Switzerland County, Ryan Lozier has two sisters: LeeAnn Lozier and LoriAnn Lozier.

In an article for the Dayton Daily News, Victoria Lozier said that he son died doing what he loved to do.

“He told me, ‘Mom, this is what I’m meant to do. I want to save people and this is what I love’,” Victoria Lozier is quoted in the story. “As a mother, I have to honor that. I can’t be mad. There is nobody to blame. That’s how he lived. He died doing what he loved.”

In that same article, Benjamin Lozier was quoted as saying his brother was, “my best friend, my mentor.”

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Vevay Newspapers will provide full information on the arrangements for Ryan Lozier when they become available.