Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumna 1st Lt. Patricia (Urick) Ryder, U.S. Army, who earned a degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2010 has been selected as the Hokie Hero for the Sugar Bowl where Virginia Tech played Michigan.

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Hokie Hero program started in 2006 by IMG College and sponsored by the University Bookstore, honors Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumni who are currently deployed. Recipients of this honor are highlighted by Bill Roth and Mike Burnop during the radio broadcast of Virginia Tech football games, on the Corps of Cadets website, on the Corps of Cadets alumni website, and in the Corps Review magazine.

Ryder is currently stationed at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, as a member of the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, U.S. Army. She is from Falls Church, Va., and this is her first combat deployment. Ryder is a Class of 2010 graduate of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and was the Bravo Company commander and 1st Battalion commander during her senior year.

She says she would like to send her love to her husband, 2nd Lt. Sam Ryder, U.S. Marine Corps, who earned a degree in history and a minor in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a minor in leadership studies from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development in 2010 and served as the Kilo Company Commander and Raider Company Commander during his senior year in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets; her parents; family; and sisters of Delta Delta Delta.

“The Ryders are a couple who really represent the value of Service that is so important to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. Trish is spending this holiday season in Afghanistan on her first combat deployment, while Sam, who was the top graduate out of 700 Marines at Officer Candidate School, is stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. as a platoon commander. He’s getting his platoon ready to deploy sometime next year, which will mean more time away from each other. They are a good example of what so many of our young men and women give up in order to serve their country, and to guarantee the freedoms we all enjoy,” explained retired Col. Rock Roszak, U.S. Air Force, alumni director for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1971.

Below are the previous Hokie Heroes from the 2011-12 season.