SSG Michael Meadors
SGT Michael Meadors joined the Army just one month after a few assholes flew planes into the world trade center. Michael served in the Army from October 2001 to January 2006 because he was involuntarily extended for his second deployment to Iraq. Michael spent the first year of his enlistment going through the Explosive Ordnance Disposal school before becoming an EOD Technician. EOD Techs are commonly referred to as the Army's bomb squad. If you have seen the movie Hurt Locker, you have seen a Hollywood rendition of Michaels military occupation.
During Michael's first deployment to Iraq he would ultimately receive a purple heart for being wounded in combat. On Oct 30 2003, Michael and his team leader SFC Jimmy Brantner, we responding to a call for a roadside bomb when they were struck by a second roadside bomb while enroute. At the time, Michael drove a truck that was not armored leaving nothing to deflect the blast overpressure from the explosive device. After being stuck by the IED Michaels vehicle was still mobile so he and SFC Brantner finished the mission before returning to base and going to the medic station. SFC Brantner was then medevaced to Germany and SGT Meadors was removed from duty for the remainder of the deployment from the head injuries the team sustained.
SFC Brantner would eventually be medically retired as a result of this incident while SGT Meadors would go on to be deployed again to Iraq. During Michaels second deployment, Michael would see direct combat on countless occasions. After experiencing the worst humanity has to offer for a second deployment, SGT Meadors would be honorably discharged from the U.S.ARMY.
SGT Michael Meadors suffers from the long term effects from TBI and PTSD. Michael has undergone years of counselling and traveled down the terrifying road of negative reactions to VA prescribed pharmaceuticals leaving him incapable of maintaining any form of employment. Michael is rated 100% disabled from the VA.
Michael currently spends his time with his son he has half the time and his two dogs, Ghost and Sky. Michael has found growing marijuana to be a good form of therapy and grows for his own personal use.
SSG Ryan Clement
SSG Ryan Clement Joined the United States Army on August 21 of 1997 and Attended Basic training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort McClellan Alabama to be a Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Weapons Specialist (NBC- now CBERN) and further to Fort Benning Georgia for Basic Airborne Course where he graduated top of his class as one of the youngest in his class. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he was the unit NBC NCO (Noncommissioned Officer) Brigade Commanders Driver and Company Administrative Specialist. In August 2001, Ryan was reassigned to the National Training Center in the lovely and hot Mojave desert of Southern California where he learned shortly after arrival of the tragic events of 9-11-2001. He was immediately informed that the current training was going to drastically change in preparations for soldiers to become deployed in several conflicts throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan. On average, SSG Clement was in charge of providing Long Range Chemical Reconnaissance/Divisional Reconnaissance and he trained upwards of 250k soldiers in rotations all through a given year.
In July 2004, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment was notified that it was needed in the fight in Iraq. SSG Clement volunteered to deploy to the fight and was shortly assigned to the Regimental Headquarters as the NBC NCOIC for the Regiment as well as fulfilling a newly discovered position of Information Operations, which was used to utilize optimal ways of engaging both highly sought after targets of interest and engaging with the people of Northern Iraq (MNF-NW.) In 2005, Iraq was a very tumultuous time for the liberation of its people. While being stationed at FOB Freedom/Courage in the heart of Mosul, Iraq, daily attacks of Indirect Mortar Fire, Indirect Fire, Explosives and Rocket Propelled Grenades were a consistent daily occurrence. In March and August 2005, SSG Clement was wounded in two very violent attacks and ambushed by Improvised Explosive Devices while being a convoy commander for upwards of 40+ vehicles and several other Troops. As a result, this caused him severe Brain Trauma and extensive hearing loss along with the nightmare of PTSD from those major life changing events. In August of 2005, it is believed that SSG Clement was in fact exposed to an unknown toxic Chemical but discovery was inconclusive however, it was noted with Walter Reed hospital in 2016. In January 2006, SSG Clement returned back to the National Training Center, and was assigned as a Subject Matter Expert in Combat and Guerrilla Tactics. These were both tactics the Mujahedeen and Isis were using towards our deployed troops. He also was continuing to train soldiers until his time was asked of him to either end his military career or medically Retire. SSG Clement opted to end his terms of service in 2007. In 2020, SSG Clement was granted full medical retirement from the Veteran Affairs due to his service-connected injuries along with several other medical issues that had added up since his time in the Army.
Ryan began tattooing while in the Army in 2002 when his journey began as a side hustle. He then moved to Castle Rock in 2009 as a transplant to Colorado and continues to keep his oath of selfless service. Artist, Entrepreneur and Visionary Veteran, now Ryan “Cactus Jack” owner of Castle Rock Tattoo and Laser Removal Co., has been a long serving individual of not only his country, but a strong representative and proud supporter of his home of Castle Rock for over 12 plus years. He has touched “literally” thousands of our veterans and other community members by providing honest and solid Tattoo and Laser Removal. As a Veteran small business owner, he is furthering his future side venture of working with Adaptive and Disabled Veterans by sharing his love of Scuba Diving. Eventually he will provide Scuba services for many of our Veterans and their families as well as all walks of life. His vision is to open “Diving with Cactus Jack”, where he will teach and provide a lifetime experience of the thrill of diving all while being in a safe and comfortable environment. Ryan is currently
a Divemaster and an Assistant Instructor all the while slated this fall in training to be a Instructor Trainer, which will then allow him to follow his dream in becoming HSA certified through Craig Hospital and other dive masters for Adaptive and Disabled Veterans.
Since opening Castle Rock Tattoo in May 2015, Ryan has worked exceptionally hard to maintain a solid cornerstone for the town of Castle Rock, working with many non-profits and organizations to help be a positive impact for our community. Not only in Colorado, but he represents other Veteran Service organizations such as Operation Tattooing Freedom (other Veteran Tattooers who provide tattoo therapy for other Disabled veterans) and in our community as a member of Dads of Castle Rock, and Veterans of Castle Rock.
Ryan is father to two sons, Noah 17, and Gage 15 and works ever diligent to instill the hard work it takes to be a “damn good dad” to both. As he proclaims, “Ryan can giveth, Ryan can help taketh away!” Castle Rock Tattoo and Laser Removal motto is and always will be “Veteran Owned and Operated for all to come through our doors! We would love to accommodate our veteran community grow and help many heal!”