Episode 146 Ryan Weaver / Country Music Artist / Motivational Speaker / Turning Point USA Ambassador / Former US Army Blackhawk Aviator…
I had a great conversation on the Podcast with Ryan an amazing patriot, legit bad ass & a man who walks his talk...
Ryan’s personal story is like no other artist in country music today. Growing up with a family of eleven in a small town in Floral City, Florida, he joined the Army right after high school. After several years of working as a Military Intelligence Analyst, Ryan followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers, Steve and Aaron, by attending Warrant Officer Candidate School and flight school. He graduated top of his class in flight school, becoming a Black Hawk Aviator. In April 2003, he deployed to Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Shortly after, one of his brothers, Aaron, was deployed just west of him in Fallujah.
On January 8, 2004, Aaron was killed in action when the Medivac helicopter he was a passenger in was shot down by enemy fire. Ryan certainly understood mortality and the risks of combat… After all, Aaron had survived the bloody 1993 battle in Mogadishu, Somalia – the same battle that became the basis for the movie, Black Hawk Down. When Aaron died, however, something changed for Ryan. He returned from combat, taking a new position training the next generation of Army aviators and officers at Fort Rucker, Alabama and has not piloted a Black Hawk since that fateful day.
On December 17, 2013 Ryan’s brother-in-law, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy Billings, was killed in action in Afghanistan when the Black Hawk helicopter he was piloting was shot down by an enemy ground-detonated explosive device. This second heartbreaking loss made the Weaver family a two-time Gold Star family. Both of his brothers’ ultimate sacrifices continue to fuel Ryan’s fire to accomplish his dreams in music.
In late 2016, Ryan released the music video for his single “Burn,”featuring Kris “Tanto” Paranto and John “Tig” Tiegen from the movie 13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. “Burn” aired nationwide on The Country Network and Heartland, and internationally at over 5,000 retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues throughout the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017. Ryan’s first music video “Crank It”played nationally on ZUUS Country TVand TNN/Heartland Networkand spent 8 weeks on their Top 10 Video Countdown – a network record.
In 2017, Ryan was named the Patriotic Voice of the PBR(Professional Bull Riders) for theirCelebrate AmericaCampaign. The World Finals is the biggest global stage in professional bull riding – a booming sport now seen in more than 400 million homes worldwide. The Celebrate AmericaCampaignis a season-long initiative that honors America’s heroes, inspires youth, and brings communities together. Weaver made his debut in the primetime performance slot, which was previously held by Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler in 2016. At that time, the PBR officially launched Ryan as a PBR artist and debuted his new EP entitled Celebrate America. Ryan worked closely with hit songwriter Wynn Varble on the Celebrate AmericaEP, co-writing three of the four songs. He has toured the U.S. and internationally to Australia with the PBR in 2018 and 2019, performing his songs and singing the “National Anthem” at US events. He has several performances scheduled in Australia this year.
Ryan performed on the first single from the West Point Military Academy’s Benny Havens Band’s debut album Songs That Save Our Lives. The song was short-listed for GRAMMY Award consideration in the American Roots category. The album also featured Charlie Daniels.
Ryan released two singles in 2019 titled “ARRIVAL” and “Time Like This.” He is currently working on a human trafficking awareness short film and collateral music video for ARRIVAL, set to release in the fall of 2020. He is also conducting multiple motivational speaking engagements while promoting his partnerships with Nine Line Apparel, Lane Boots, Soledier Socks, Liberty Home Concealment and Forj’d America.