LCPL Corporal Ryan T. McCaughn—Jun 2012 Shipment Honoree
MANCHESTER, NH, USA
LCPL, C CO, 1ST BN, 6TH MAR, (1-1 AD, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
AR RAMADI, IRAQ 11/07/2006
Lance Corporal Ryan T. McCaughn was born in Jacksonville N.C., the home of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. He spent his early years in North Carolina and Missouri and ultimately settled in Manchester, New Hampshire. There he was raised by his mother Cote and his stepfather Raymond Bauclair Jr. Even as a child, friends said that Ryan was clear in his military ambitions. Both of his parents were former servicemen; his mother served briefly in the U.S. Army and his father, Thomas McCaughn was a Marine. His older brother Chris served in the Air Force and his brother Sean Merlin served in the Navy.
Ryan, 19, was less than two months into his deployment in Ramadi, a city in central Iraq, when a homemade bomb exploded near his vehicle.
At 17, he asked his mother to help him sign up for duty. “He said he was going to sign up anyway when he was 18,” Schmidt said, “but he would feel better if it was with her consent.”
Ryan occasionally returned to Central High School after graduating. Once, he came to talk to students about life in the Marines. Later, he came as a recruiter.
Ryan is remembered fondly for his sense of humor. Friends described Ryan as an irrepressible comedian who used to torment his school bus driver and sometimes splashed around in puddles just for laughs. He performed on stage with Maskers, his high-school drama club, and wasn’t afraid to dress up as a woman if the part demanded it.
At 17, he asked his mother to help him sign up for duty.
“He said he was going to sign up anyway when he was 18.” Ryan felt he had a serious commitment to the Marines and to his country. Ryan occasionally returned to Central High School after graduating. Once, he came to talk to students about life in the Marines. Later, he came as a recruiter.
Rebecca Spiro, his English teacher during senior year, said she hardly recognized him just one year later. One time Ryan wrote a poem in Ms. Spiro’s fittingly titled “Soldier.”
“Many soldiers have had to experience the ultimate Sacrifice,” Ryan wrote. “Even in death, a soldier will show Pride. All you can do is hope that they finally found Peace.“
“I just can’t believe it,” his mother, Nicole Cote, stated. “It’s not supposed to happen this way. Your kids aren’t supposed to leave you.”
Nicole Conte (right) was escorted out of St. Anne-St. Augustine Catholic church in Manchester, N.H., after the funeral of her son, Marine Lance Corporal Ryan T. McCaughn.
Marines stood guard by his flag-draped casket as mourners offered condolences to his friends and family, the Manchester Union Leader reported on its website. They wore yellow ribbons marked with the Marine’s initials and donned black T-shirts that bore Ryan’s image on the back. The shirts read, “We are proud, thankful and will miss you fiercely. You will not be forgotten.”
- Spread the Word: Iraq-Nam
- Fallen Heroes Project
- Manchester Union Leader