"If I forgot anyone, please blame it on my head and not my heart."
I could kick myself in the head for forgetting about this brotha. He was the entire reason I wanted to do the special entry of the VA Tech winner post then I go and totally omit Ryan "Stack" Clark. I'm giving him the honor of having his very own entry instead of editing the previous post. It's the least I can do for not mentioning him in the first place. In addition, now he also gets the honor of joining my exclusive "Pour Some for the Homies" club.
The rampage initially started when cowardly cho entered Ambler Johnston Hall to argue with student Emily Hilsher. Ryan was a resident assistant in the dorm and heard the commotion. He rushed to help Emily and as he tried to defuse the situation, the lunatic shot him dead through the neck. Unfortunately, the maniac killed Emily as well making her and Ryan the first two victims.
So technically, is he still considered a hero even though his actions didn't save her life? Heck yeah! He put his life on the line to save the life of a fellow student. It'd be interesting to know if cho had the guns visible with that first encounter. Regardless, there was no way of Ryan knowing how deadly the idiot would eventually turn out to be. There's no way Ryan could ever know how dangerous anyone would be. He was just doing his job and worrying about the safety of others first before himself.
I'll tell you now, I remember the responsibilities of RAs from my ISU days and that brotha was clearly going above and beyond the call of duty. Had I been in the same shoes, I'm not sure I would have stepped up like that. Or maybe I would have, as long as I didn't see a gun. Who knows? The bottom line is he did. Although it didn't help Emily, it very well may have been his actions that saved the lives of all the other students that were there in that dorm.
Ryan was a member of the school marching band intending on pursuing a Ph.D in psychology with a focus in cognitive neuroscience. I know Va Tech granted posthumous degrees to all of the victims, but they should go the extra mile here and give that brotha his Ph.D also. Rest in peace, Stack.