A Warrior’s Faith: Navy SEAL Ryan Job, a Life-Changing Firefight, and the Belief That Transformed His Life.
The biggest film in America has a companion story you must know. “American Sniper” follows the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most deadly sniper in American history and his Navy SEAL Team 3 brothers. The movie made history of it’s own by becoming the largest grossing film debut in the month of January ever, raking in over $107 million dollars in it’s opening weekend.
The movie version of “American Sniper” was adapted from Kyle’s New York Times #1 best selling book, which was dedicated to Kyle’s NAVY Seal teammate and close friend Ryan “Biggles” Job (pronounced Jobe), a central character in both the book and film. Hollywood actor Jake McDorman portrayed Ryan Job in the film version, while “American Sniper” co-producer Bradley Cooper plays Kyle.
The real life Ryan Job lived, and tragically died, in Scottsdale Arizona.
Chris Kyle and Ryan Job were SEAL teammate on SEAL Team 3. The two were on a rooftop in Ramadi, Iraq when Job was shot in the face and gravely wounded by an enemy sniper. Job miraculously survived but was rendered permanently blind in the incident, captured in one of the movie’s most harrowing sequences.
Shortly after returning stateside for facial reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation, Ryan Job settled with his wife in Scottsdale, where he attended Scottsdale Bible Church, became involved in wounded veteran’s causes and befriended Robert Vera. Vera, a former U.S. Senate aide on military affairs, trained with Ryan in the hills around Phoenix for Job’s blind hike to the summit of Mt. Rainier. At 14, 411 feet Mt. Rainier is one the most challenging and deadliest peaks in America. An avid hunter, the totally blind former SEAL also managed to successfully hunt a massive 980 pound bull elk. Vera and Job were close friends, and trained together to race Iron-man triathlons. Ryan earned his college degree with honors and served as a spokesman for disabled veterans organization.
Tragically, after surviving the deadly attack in Iraq and with his wife pregnant with their first child, Ryan Job died of a medical overdose at Maricopa County Medical Center, two days after a round of facial reconstructive surgeries.
Ryan Job’s real life story is more complex, more inspiring and in some ways even more tragic than Chris Kyle’s, says Vera, who pays tribute to his fallen friend in a new book; “A Warrior’s Faith: Navy SEAL Ryan Job, a Life-Changing Firefight, and the Belief That Transformed His Life”. The book will be released March 3rd by Harper-Collins. “I hope that readers will come away as inspired by Ryan’s courage, determination and faith, as I was,” Vera said.
Vera, who was also friendly with Chris Kyle, says that the runaway success of the film “American Sniper” and seeing his friends portrayed on the silver screen has taken him by surprise. “The movie was a little eerie for me, it was like seeing a ghost because Jake McDorman actually looked and sounded a lot like Ryan”.
Vera gave the eulogy at Ryan’s funeral in Scottsdale that was attended by several hundred Navy SEALs from around the globe. He was also in attendance at Kyle’s funeral service in Texas in 2013.
“A Warrior’s Faith” chronicles’ Job’s amazing life from the time he was wounded and made blind to his summit climb of Mt. Rainier and his elk hunting adventure, all while blind, his unstoppable spirit and unshakeable faith, until his tragic death in 2009.
Robert Vera enjoyed a twenty-year career in the banking industry. In 2006 he took a leap of faith to follow his dream to become an entrepreneur. Robert serves on a number of non-profit boards and as a mentor to returning veterans. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Boston College.