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Exclusive Interview with Ryan Conklin of The Real World: Brooklyn

Posted on 03/16/2009 by Gina in Real World and Cast Interviews

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The Real World Brooklyn Ryan Conklin


From the very beginning, on The Real World: Brooklyn, Ryan Conklin was open about his military experience and background.  At the age of 17, he enlisted in the army and served his country in Iraq.  Now, at the age of 23, he thought that his time spent in the war was long behind him.  On this Wednesday's episode of The Real World: Brooklyn, Ryan gets the call he's been dreading - he has been called back for duty and must return to Iraq.  Today, Ryan spoke to RealityWanted in an exclusive interview and opens up about how he felt when he got the call, where he is now, and when he returns to Iraq.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: It must be hard enough finding out that you're being sent back to Iraq but how did you deal with it in front of the cameras and with America watching?
A. Ryan: I didn't really think about it when it happened.  The news hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had a lot of thinking I was doing and to be honest, the cameras kind of disappeared.  I was just in this world of thought.  I know they were there but when I watch that episode, it's like watching somebody else.  I was in this shock mode, my mind was going a mile a minute and I didn't really process everything. 
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Did finding out that you're going to be deployed again affect the rest of your time in Brooklyn?
A. Ryan: Maybe to a degree but everything happens for a reason but I tried not to let that spoil my time.  If anything, I wanted to relish my time with everyone in the house.  I didn't wanna pee on anyone's parade, if you will.  I dealt with it on my own time.  Whenever I went out and did things, I went out to enjoy my time. 
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Were your roommates supportive?
A. Ryan: A lot more than others, obviously.  People like Scott, Baya, and Chet have been wonderful in the whole process.  Baya has become a great friend because of this and those three have been marvelous.  The other girls, I don't really stay in contact with but I'm very appreciative of what they did.  They did some things in the house that were fantastic and I'll never forget it.  You'll see.  JD lives in this warped reality.  When I told him, he was like, "Wow, that sucks."  I don't think he really understood what I was saying.  Each person in the house is different. 
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What has the reaction been like, regarding your military background?  Positive?  Negative?
A. Ryan: I haven't gotten anything negative.  I would really welcome some negative things so I could laugh at it.  I've gotten some positive feedback from soldiers and spouses of deceased soldiers that I never saw coming.  I am so thankful for that.  I've gotten a lot of good things.
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: So tell us where you are right now and when you are actually leaving.
A. Ryan: Right now, I'm in Mississippi.  I've been doing the old hopping around in military installations.  First, I was in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, then I went to Fort Bening, Georgia, and now I'm at Camp Shelby.  At the end of the month, I'll go to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and I'll be there for 2 weeks.  We deploy for Iraq on April 15th.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: It must've been hard to your family to not have been with you when you found out the news.  How have your friends and family reacted?
A. Ryan: They're 100% supportive of me.  I have the greatest family in the world.  Like I said, everything happens for a reason.  I couldn't ask for a better family.  They can do it again.  If they can do it again, then I can do it again.  My friends are supportive.  It's all part of my life.  I'm ready because of that.  My mom is really apprenhensive to watch the episode.  I told her I was really glad it happened while we were on the show.  It draws attentinon to the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve).  This is a real reality of the war that affects veterans - people who have come back, gotten married, had kids, and then have to go back.  It sucks.  It's a backdoor draft and it's a reality that never gets any attention.
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: When you return from Iraq, are you hoping to continue your relationship with MTV, such as showing up on one of the challenges?
A. Ryan: I don't know if I'll be on a challenge.  Maybe if they had one that was like The Amazing Race.  If I could choose one partner, I would choose Chet and we would win that show.  Other than that, I don't see myself on the Duels or Infernos.  No.  Me and Chet want to pursue other things on TV.


To find out how Ryan reacts to getting the call to report for active duty, and to see what his roommates have to say, check out an all new episode of The Real World: Brooklyn, Wednesday night at 10pm ET on MTV.


(Image courtesy of MTV) 


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