CINCINNATI (TDB) -- An improvised explosive device killed 1Lt. Michael Runyan while he led troops on a convoy in Iraq's Diyala province. He went to high school in Ashland in northern Ohio and was an Army ROTC cadet at Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he earned a degree in criminal justice in 2008. His father was a judge and his mother was a high school teacher. The Pentagon lists his home address as Newark in Central Ohio. Friends who knew him at Xavier said he was a wonderful person. There are many heavy hearts on the campus today, and prayers for the young soldier's family. Lt. Runyan was 24 and now has joined that great band of brothers, those who served this nation courageously and faithfully and gave it everything. The photo above is from the Xavier ROTC website -- what a smile, and what a loss. Service in the armed forces is a serious business that can never be taken for granted. Yet we do seem to take our military for granted -- wars are going on, our troops are training, deploying, bleeding and dying. And we barely bother to notice. This is now up on the Xavier site:
"Runyan was assigned to Bravo Company, 52nd Infantry, out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and was serving as an anti-tank Stryker Platoon leader. The University issued the following statement on Friday, July 23:'Every young man and woman who attends Xavier University contributes in no small measure to the community we create together at Xavier. The loss of any one of them wounds us all. Michael’s death also touches our hearts as he died courageously serving our country. We convey our deepest sorrow and most sincere condolences of the entire Xavier University community to Michael’s parents and family. We pray God’s love and blessing will comfort them through this time of sorrow.' Services are pending. The Xavier ROTC web site http://www.xavier.edu/military-science/1LT-Mike-Runyan.cfm will post information as it becomes available."