Ghosts Of War Casey moulthrop


Ryan Smithson

Ryan Smithson was a 17 year old boy when he enlisted in the military. All the years up until 19 were spent a normal teenage life. He was born in Colorado in 1985 then in 1988 he moved to upstate New York and lived in the town of East Greenbush. As a freshmen he decided to start and wrestle, after his first year he fell in love with the sport and wrestled every year after that. He had a high school sweetheart that changed his life forever. The reason Ryan joined the military in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in NYC. He joined the army reserve as a heavy equipment operator. Ryan was then sent to Iraq to serve and after his service he majored in Criminal Justice at Hudson Valley Community College.


Ryan was born in Colorado
Ryan moved to East Greenbush in 1988

Ryan was born in Colorado in 1985. After his sister Reagan was born in 1987 they moved back to New York in 1988 which is where his parents lived before they had Ryan and Reagan. The book also takes place at his basic training and in Iraq where he was deployed for his service. He talks about Hudson Valley college and his part time jobs he worked at when he was at college. Ryan spends most of the book in New York with his girlfriend/fiance. Ryan served 1 year in Iraq.


Ryan Smithson- Ryan is the main character in this novel. The whole book is written around his life while all the other characters come into play. Ryan is a very smart and nice guy. He loved wrestling and loved our country very much. The reason he wanted to enlist into the military was to fight the war on terror. He had a high school sweetheart who he went on to marry before he was deployed.

Heather- Heather was Ryan's life long girlfriend who soon became his wife. She is another main character in this novel. Heather is very nice and caring. She always wanted the best for Ryan and always supported all of his choices. She continued to work when Ryan came home from Iraq so he could get back on his feet.

Ryan's parents- They aren't talked about that much through out the book. They always wanted the best for Ryan and Reagan. They wanted Ryan to do what he thought was right.

Writing style

I love the writing style of the novel. I like stories like this because it makes me feel like i'm in the book. While writing this book he doesn't leave out a detail and he describes everything with emotion. The way he set up the book is in perfect sequence while some books don't fall into chronological order.

Plot summary

The plot to this book is Ryan's life. It describes his life in order from when he was born until he got out of the army. It goes into the smallest details and doesn't leave anything out. He describes all the stuff he does and what he wanted to do. He included points that didn't seem important at first but then flowed into the story.


Likes- I liked the story overall. I liked the detail he used and the way the names of the chapters organized the lay out of the book. I loved how the book was written by him because it didn't miss a detail.

Dislike- I didn't like the part of the book when he attended college after he served. The book was too slow while the beginning and middle were fast paced. That was the only thing I didn't like about the book.


The major theme I got from reading this novel was death. The book was upbeat but when he witnessed a fellow solider die in combat he talked about death more than often.

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