Tip of the Spear: The Incredible Story of an Injured Green Beret's Return to Battle

TIP OF THE SPEAR                                     RYAN HENDRICKSON

Sergeant First Class (SFC) Ryan Hendrickson is a brave, determined, and courageous soldier--a Green Beret clearing the way for his twelve-man team while conducting combat operations against the Taliban. As the "tip of the spear," his role is to ensure the route taken by U.S. and Afghan troops are free of IEDs--improvised explosive devices. Many soldiers do not survive their last step; those who do often lose at least one limb.

While rescuing an Afghan soldier outside a mud-hut compound in 2010--knowing that he was in "uncleared" territory--Ryan stepped on an IED with his right foot. The device exploded, leaving his foot dangling at the end of his leg.

American soldiers losing a limb is an all-too-common occurrence. But what makes Ryan's story different is that after undergoing two dozen surgeries and a tortuous rehabilitation, he was medically retired but fought to return to active duty. Multiple skin grafts to his lower leg and right foot successfully reattached his lower leg, and he was aided in his recovery by wearing a new prosthetic device known as an IDEO (Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis). Once he passed a series of crucial physical tests, Ryan was able to rejoin the Green Berets within a year and physically perform his duties, redeploying to Afghanistan in March 2012.

In 2016, he volunteered to return to Afghanistan with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. During a firefight with the Taliban, he risked his life under heavy enemy fire to rescue three Afghan soldiers cut off from friendly forces and return the bodies of two dead Afghan soldiers under the ethos that "no one gets left behind." For his heroic efforts on the battlefield, SFC Ryan Hendrickson was awarded a Silver Star, the nation's third-highest award for valor.

An engaging and harrowing account, Tip of the Spear tells the amazing story of one Green Beret's indomitable spirit.


This was one hell of a read. A story that the author takes you through his life from childhood and through the different moves his family made until the time he chose to join the Navy. He then went on to join the Air Force after the Navy all the while marrying and divorcing twice, each time he explains his own shortcomings and his own failures in the marriages. While in the Air Force he comes across a poster with information about the Army accepting transfers from the Air Force signing up for that program he next takes you through boot camp and then his journey on to jump school. Here is when I thought back to my father going through that school during WWII and joining the 82nd. Anyway, from there he passed and was on his way to Special Forces School or training. He wanted to be Green Beret.
Here now is when the training is much more intense and he takes you through the items he can. When he finally passes this phase-out of 189 there are 55 going on to the next phase, he is one of those. Training is more intense and you see just what those men go through and when finished only 25 are done. He is assigned to a unit and he is to get ready for what is next.
Next is his deployment and on one of the missions they go on he is blown up by an IED, you are taken through his memory of what he remembers of not knowing what happens to panic to no pain then the pain then men talking to him, finding when he is given morphine in the field that he is allergic, the fentanyl tab did not work and his team still had to move to set up an area for the medic vac helicopter to land and so they do not get ambushed. You are then taken through what will be just one of over 28 surgeries that he will have on his leg.
You are taken through everything until finally, he is past all of the nurses, doctor’s and now is left with family and physical therapists. His rehab is intense and he has people in his corner, he also has a new kind of prosthetic. You get to see his good days and bad. His father is there as well as his girlfriend who moved from Florida to Texas to be there to help him. He makes it through and then wants back on the Green Beret’s, long story short he does it and he takes you through his first deployment back. While on his deployment he leaves no man behind even the Afghan soldier who he had gotten to know and because of his actions that day for saving his team and helping the Afghan he is awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest award. He probably thinks he was just doing his job and he was. This was an outstanding book and I really enjoyed it I hope people take the time to read it. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at

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