94.3 The Dude’s highlighted soldier of the week: Specialist Austin Rykbost

94.3 The Dude’s Soldier Salute host Don Sornson conducts a weekly interview with a local member of the Armed Forces. The current soldier of the week is Specialist (SPC) Austin Rykbost. This is a preview of Sornson's interview with Rykbost..

Specialist Austin Rykbost. Photo provided by Don Sornson.

One of my favorite things about serving in the South Carolina Army National Guard was watching my fellow soldiers’ children grow up. A large number of them have gone on to become soldiers themselves.  One of them is this week’s Soldier Salute guest, Specialist (SPC) Austin Rykbost.

It’s been a busy couple of years for the young soldier.  Not long ago he was graduating high school, but in the past 12 months he’s married, gotten deployed and purchased a home. Most would say that’s not the normal order of things.

“That was the goal,” Rykbost said. “We wanted to have the house first but we actually didn’t close until December, and I had deployed at the end of October. It was a trying process, due to the age of the home and some of the issues with it. We couldn’t get any type of loan other than a conventional so that was kind of a stress.”

SPC Rykbost isn’t the kind to shy away from a stressful situation though – while all this was on his plate, he also started his own business with a friend back home.

“Sometimes it gets stressful.  You’ve got to deal with employees and issues with customers but so far, we’re doing great,” he said. I believe that sometimes Rykbost’s generation isn’t given a fair shake by my generation, but if there’s ever been a person to change that opinion, it’s definitely him.

“I think one of the issues with the newer generation is everyone’s stuck with their nose in their phone,” Rykbost said. “Social media can be good if you use it properly. You can market yourself, you can make money with it, you can grow your business. But it can also be detrimental and a waste of your time, which is the most valuable thing you have.”

Tune in to this week’s Soldier Salute where you’ll hear SPC Rykbost discuss in more detail his deployment, growing up in the military, his growing business and some good advice for anyone who’s willing to listen.

94.3 The Dude’s Soldier Salute with Rykbost will air multiple times throughout the week.

Categories: Columbia, Military, Richland County

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