James Ryan Sartor
James “Ryan” Sartor
Sep 23rd, 1978 – Jul 13th, 2019
Sergeant Major James Gregory Ryan Sartor, age 40, was killed in action in the service of his country on July 13, 2019 in Faryab Province, Afghanistan. He was a dedicated husband, father, career Soldier, and a Special Forces Green Beret. Ryan resided with his family in Falcon, Colorado for 11 years and as a native Texan, maintained a permanent residence in Teague, Texas. At the time of his death, he was Sergeant Major of A Co, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson, Colorado, where he was a leader who led with muddy boots.
Ryan was born on September 23, 1978 to James Sartor and Mary Teresa (Terri) Pryor in Teague, Texas. He graduated from Teague High School with the class of 1997 where he was a standout football player. After high school, Ryan moved to College Station, TX to work and met the love of his life, Deanna Unger, in the fall of 2000. Ryan and Deanna began dating in February 2001 and were married on June 29, 2002 in Odessa, Texas.
Ryan answered the call to serve and joined the Army in June 2001, becoming an infantryman in the 3rd Infantry Division where he quickly deployed to help lead the Invasion of Iraq in 2002. Upon completion of his first combat deployment he continued to advance and after being selected for the Special Forces Qualification Course he earned his Green Beret and was assigned to A Co, 2nd Battalion, 10th SFG(A) in Fort Carson, Colorado where he served for the next 14 years. During his career, Ryan defined the 10th Special Forces Group motto, “Quiet Professional,” and deployed numerous times to include additional combat operations in Iraq in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010-2011, Germany and Israel in 2008, Africa in 2012 and 2013, and Afghanistan in 2017 and 2019. Ryan always assured his combat stripes outnumbered his service stripes and in doing so became highly decorated. Ryan’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Award, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Unit Citation with one oak leaf cluster and National Defense Service Medal, among others. He has been posthumously awarded the Purple Heart medal and Bronze Star medal. Ryan also earned the Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, where he earned the title of Honor Grad, Combat Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Special Operations Diver Badge and Dive Supervisor Badge.
Ryan loved life to the fullest and was known and highly respected for his kind yet focused soul. He was a beloved friend, neighbor, and brother in arms who lived to be with his family in the outdoors; camping, hiking or finding an adventure. Ryan loved and was deeply loved in return as he lived a life of purpose many only dream about. He was an inspiration, a warrior, a mentor, but first and foremost a family man who left an indelible legacy in the world he left behind through his wife and three children.
Ryan is survived by his loving wife, Deanna; his three beautiful children, Stryder, Grace and Garrett; his parents, Mary Teresa (Terri) Pryor and James Sartor; his sister, Crista Brooner; half-sister, Shae Sartor; and his grandmother, Patricia Pryor.