Port Angeles party to fete Marine back from deadly fighting in Fallujah

PORT ANGELES — When the photographer’s shutter clicked, Thomas Ryder had his fingers over his ears, blocking out the noise of an explosion that would bust open the steel door of an Iraqi schoolhouse behind him.

In his dusty brown fatigues, gear strapped to his front and back, he looked like any other U.S. Marine on the streets of Fallujah.

But it was the colorful tattoos stretching down his left arm to his wrist that identified Ryder to his mother and friends in the large photo that ran across two pages in the Nov. 22 issue of Newsweek.

It brought home the war to the people who know him.

People read or hear about war, Ryder, 27, a 1995 Port Angeles High School graduate, said this week.

“But a lot of my friends, they see that picture,” he said.

“It finally kind of impacts them because they know me, they know someone who’s over there.”

This weekend, Ryder comes home to Port Angeles with two tours of duty in Iraq behind him, as people he grew up with — and some people he’s never met — celebrate his return in a party at a Port Angeles restaurant-nightclub.

His family is holding the “welcome home” party Saturday evening at Castaways, in part to satiate all the people in the community who continually ask about him, said Ryder’s mother, Pam West.

The party starts at 8 p.m. at Castaways, 1213 Marine Drive.

More in News

Budgets before county commissions

Government meetings across North Olympic Peninsula

Holiday decorations go missing on Diamond Point

The Grinch came early this year. Or that’s how… Continue reading

teaser logo
Peninsula Home Fund donations pour in

Most recent donors listed

Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

For the second year, River Jensen, left, and her mom Anna Larsen plan to use stockings for River’s Christmas Project to supply toiletries to local homeless people and others in crisis. River, now 16, started the project seven years ago.
Jefferson County considers carbon leases

Junior taxing districts concerned about timber revene

EJFR to expand ability to help

City-hosted grant adds ‘tools to toolbox’

The Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir is pictured in an artist's rendering by Anchor QEA, the project’s engineering firm.
Open house to provide information about Dungeness reservoir

Project aims to protect irrigation water, save salmon, create park

Football players disciplined

Forks investigation into hazing incident ongoing

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Visitor to the Port Angeles Winter Ice Village walk through a decorative ornament, part of a donation of holiday decorations from the Microsoft Corporation to the Olympic Medical Center Foundation for use at last weekend's Festival of Trees, and then moved to the ice village for the duration of the ice skating season. The villages offers daily skating through Jan. 2 in downtown Port Angeles.
Volunteers in short supply at Winter Ice Village

Chamber: Popular rink depends on community pitiching in

Most Read