The mother of an Army sergeant killed by a suicide bomber at Afghanistan’s airport in 2021 shared her son’s final message.
Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss was 23 when he and 12 other U.S. military members were killed August 26, 2021, by a suicide bomber at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. His mother, Paula Knauss Selph, has spent every day since thinking of him.
Fox News further reported:
Ryan Christian Knauss walked a mile through Arlington National Cemetery in May 2016, long before he joined the ranks of the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. He took in the hills of neatly spaced marble headstones and read the names of those who sacrificed their lives for their country.
Five years later, he was laid to rest in the same sacred ground.
“Ryan doesn’t leave me on any day,” Paula Knauss Selph told Fox News. If she could see him again, she said she would just want to hold him and tell him, “job well done.”
“He did a job well done, from his birth until his death,” she said.
Ryan’s family took him to Washington, D.C., in May 2016 for his senior trip. He had told his parents he wanted to see the history of his nation. He took in the monuments and museums on the National Mall. He spent a solemn day at Arlington.
Mere days after returning home, he shipped off to basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, then joined the 82nd Airborne Division, which specializes in parachute assault operations. Then he left for his first mission to Afghanistan as a gunner.
“He wouldn’t talk about some of the things that happened,” Paula said. “It was really hard on him when he got back.”
Ryan worked hard to make it into Special Operations Forces and ultimately joined the 9th Battalion, 8th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne).
On Aug. 13, 2021, Ryan deployed to Afghanistan again, this time to assist with the evacuation of U.S. personnel, citizens and Afghan refugees. His mother got married the next day and left for a weeklong honeymoon, sending her son the occasional photo from the cruise. As the situation overseas began to look more dire, Paula texted more often, sending Ryan scriptures and asking how he was doing.
On Aug. 24, Paula unlocked her phone to see a selfie of Ryan sitting in his truck in Kabul, his hair tucked under a baseball cap and sunglasses shielding his eyes.
“All good here mom, I love you,” the message read.
That was the last she heard from him.