Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, Author, Public Speaker, and Founder of two non-profits benefiting Veterans and First Responders is originally from Detroit, Michigan. Ryan enlisted in the Navy after watching the Twin Towers fall on 9/11, and Parrott served eight years as a U.S. Navy SEAL attached to Team SEVEN, completing three combat tours to Iraq before being assigned to Advanced Training Command as an Instructor.
In 2005, while serving in Iraq, Ryan was riding atop a Humvee manning the gun turret in enemy territory, when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED), causing a flash fire and throwing him from the Humvee. Ryan regained composure with his face and arms burned, and witnessed his fellow team members suffer devastating burn and blast injuries. While Ryan’s burns were only first and second degree, his teammates suffered lifelong injuries.
After completing his service, Ryan moved to Dallas, and in April of 2011, Ryan had the privilege of meeting a retired Army Ranger officer who suffered significant burn injuries, and Ryan was inspired and humbled by his display of strength and courage, despite his debilitating scarring. Ryan was discouraged that this Ranger, and others like him, were not benefitting from progressive treatment of burns in the same way that amputees benefit from incredible advancements in prosthetics.
Searching for better answers, Ryan sought out physicians, medical professionals, civilian burn survivors as well as firefighters and paramedics, seeking to understand how burn treatment could be improved.
In 2012, Ryan established Sons of the Flag to help burn survivors and their families find the help and medical attention that they deserve.
He is also the founder of the Bird’s Eye View Project, addressing the extreme needs of Veterans and First Responders through extreme sports.
And, he is the author of Sons of the Flag: Real Accounts from the Last 100 Years of American Service.