“They” say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but country music artist Ryan Weaver knows “they” are wrong.
Ryan was deployed and flying a Black Hawk helicopter when his brother Aaron was killed. Aaron was in a clearly marked medical helicopter that was shot down. His history of service included an incident that was featured in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” He not only survived that incident, he emerged as a hero. He then went on to survive testicular cancer and go to great lengths to overcome the limitations that put on continuing in service. It would seem as though he’d been through enough and that the gods would shine upon him.
Instead, lightning struck again and Aaron left behind a family who will never stop missing him. A family that loses a member in military service is called a Gold Star family. It’s a designation no family wants but too many hold. It’s a designation the Weaver family would become all too familiar with.
Ryan, his brother Steve, and their sister are all veterans and all understand the risks attached to service.
But none of them could have foreseen what was still to come.
In 2013, lightning struck again. This time it was Ryan’s brother-in-law Randy Billings who was killed when his helicopter was shot down. This makes Ryan and his family two-time Gold Star family members.
The grief in Ryan’s eyes today is instantly recognizable to anyone who has felt the pain of loss. So is the effort it takes to push through it and cling to the grace and perception that accompany mastering the lifelong art of managing pain that will never leave.
Ryan Weaver has found his own way of channeling that pain into a purpose.
For 13 years, Ryan has poured himself into rebuilding his life after losing two men he loved and a marriage as well. He is remarried to a woman who makes his eyes spark with joy at the mere mention of her name. Like all of his current happiness, he had to work to woo his wife. But persistence paid off and today she is his best friend and the center that grounds him.
“I was broke,” he says, “But then I met my wife and I became the richest man in the world.”
He knows it sounds corny but he doesn’t care because it’s true.
Professionally, Ryan Weaver is winning hearts all over the world.
Years of persistence, building relationships, and tapping into his patriotism and pain are paying off. Ryan is the official patriotic voice of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders). He’s performed in arenas across the country, including Madison Square Garden, for tens of thousands of fans at a time who relate instantly to his voice and his message. Next month he’ll be performing in Australia.
Songs like “Never Forgotten” and “Burn” speak to anyone who has lost a loved one, but specifically to those who lose a loved one in service. The video for Never Forgotten features family members of fallen police officers, border patrol agents, and his own family as they cling to items of the people they loved or gaze upon places that hold bittersweet memories. The song is Ryan’s tribute to his own brother and brother-in-law as well as to all who give their lives in service.
“Burn” features Benghazi heroes and is the song that Ryan credits for skyrocketing his career. It’s the video that got him invited to play at the event which Sean Gleason, CEO of the Professional Bull Riders, attended.
The rest is history as well as history in the making.
Ryan’s two Gold Stars are now joined by a third, but this star is different. This star is not a designation of tragedy but of triumph over tragedy. This star shines as a beacon of hope for families of the fallen and a reassurance that their loss is not for nothing.
It takes grit to carve out a career in the music industry. Over 20 years in military service gave Ryan skillsets and mindsets that help him continue pushing forward no matter the struggle. He’s learned how to seek mentors and how to learn from them. He’s learned how to focus on one mission at a time and never give up.
He’s also fueled by talent and passion for what he does, and unafraid to chase his dream down whatever daunting path it may lead him because he believes in what he is doing.
The music industry is not for the faint of heart. It’s about more than talent and a dream. It’s about business and relationships. Specifically, it’s about your network and your wallet. These two things, Ryan learned early on, are the difference between aspiring artists who leave Nashville with empty guitar cases and broken dreams, and those who move on to achieve their dreams.
Ryan took those words told to him and used them to build a career outside the conventional path of record labels and managers.
Building relationships is key, says Ryan. While he was able to rely on his military pay to cover his bills, he was not in Nashville long enough to build relationships on his own, so he paid to make connections. It’s an effective alternative, he says, but not the preferred one. Ideally, he’d have moved to Nashville and spent the same money on expenses while he personally developed a network. Either way, it is imperative to build relationships and invest in that process.
Ryan Weaver can track every step of his career to people he met as he was in one place or another doing what he loves to do.
From small bars to mediocre stages he moved on to the big arenas and now he is moving into corporate speaking as well.
Not every event in need of a message is in need of a band, much to a musician’s chagrin. But Ryan doesn’t let that stop him either. Instead, he learned how to deliver the same powerful messages he sings about by speaking about his story. Corporations all over the country are lining up to bring Ryan to their events to talk about overcoming adversity and achieving success.
Very few artists have achieved his level of success without having a song on the radio. Far too many people wind up trapped in their adversity without knowing how to overcome it. Ryan can speak to both and apply his lessons learned to virtually any stage.
“I’m just a guy living a dream with some talent,” says Ryan. “But I want to be able to show you how to overcome adversity over and over and over again.”
Most people would feel content with two successful careers. They would not have the energy or the bandwidth in their brains to apply toward anything other than those two career paths. But Ryan is among the minority of individuals who appear to have no idle mode or illusions that there is a limit to achievement, so he’s moving into other arenas as well.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If I’m not the example of the American Dream I don’t know what is. – Ryan Weaver” quote=”If I’m not the example of the American Dream I don’t know what is. – Ryan Weaver” theme=”style5″]
We could not agree more.
We are honored and excited to be including Ryan in our extraordinary speaker lineup for our Great American Summit. This event is about patriotism without the politics, it’s about fulfilling your potential, and living your American Dream.
Interested in sponsoring Ryan Weaver for our event? This is an excellent opportunity to not only meet him and our other speakers in person, or to donate that opportunity to a hero but to also get in front of 1,000 of some of the most patriotic leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, high achievers, and actions takers in the country. Email us at [email protected] to inquire further and to schedule a call.