About Michael L. Runyan
Michael Runyan was born November 29, 1985 and grew up in Ashland, Ohio, the son of Jeff and Renee Runyan and brother to Lesley and Alex Runyan. He attended Ashland High School where he was an impressive athlete; involved in golf, tennis, and swimming. Michael attended college at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH on a ROTC scholarship, earning a B.S. in Criminal Justice. During his four years in the ROTC program, he was the Captain of the Xavier Ranger competition team and Commander of the Xavier Battery of the Society of Pershing Rifles. He also mentored younger cadets and held leadership positions as Battalion Command Sergeant Major and Battalion Commander. He earned his air assault wings as a cadet, and was always commended for his excellent physical fitness. He thoroughly enjoyed participating and encouraging others to participate in running events. He hiked the Appalachian Trail, he ran a marathon, and he led his cadets successfully during many competitions.
Michael commissioned in May of 2008 as a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps, branch detailed Infantry. He went to Fort Benning, Georgia and attended Infantry Officer Basic Course, Stryker Leader Course, and Army Airborne School. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks, HI with the 25th ID and was assigned a Platoon Leader in B-52, 1-21 Infantry Battalion. 1LT Michael Runyan deployed to Iraq with the 52nd Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division on July 1, 2010 and was assigned to FOB Warhorse. Michael had only been in Iraq for three weeks when he was with a convoy and was killed by the explosion of a roadside bomb outside of Muqdadiyah, Iraq. He was 24 years old.
Those are the facts of Michaelís life, but it was his humble and loving soul, his beautiful and genuine smile, and the impact he made on everyone who encountered him that made him such an unforgettable and extraordinary person. He was an Army Officer by profession but a friend, brother, son, and fianceí by his actions and his love. He was truly human; compassionate, selfless, full of hope and energy. He believed in being the best version of himself to help others, to guide his soldiers, and to support those he loved in finding happiness. Wise beyond his years, his life is a testament to selflessness, service, and the pursuit of happiness. To Michael, thatís the Big Picture. We can strive to allow Michaelís memory to remind us of what is most important in this life and to embrace the time we have to make an impact in our world and the people around us. He lives on in our hearts, our actions, and our love.