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Van Ryn

Amvets assist a friend in need

Amvets Post 33 is stepping up to help a devoted member battling cancer. Events Saturday will benefit Michael Van Ryn, a 32-year member of the Fort Wayne Police Department.

Van Ryn first served three years in the Army and after retirement served three years as president of the Fraternal Organization of Police. He was a 15-year board member for the Police Athletic League and a longtime referee for PAL Club basketball.

As a police officer, Van Ryn delivered three babies, including a pair of twins. In 2003, he was offering an escort to the hospital when the driver’s sister needed help.

“I could see right then we weren’t going to make it to the hospital,” Van Ryn told The Journal Gazette at the time. The officer entered the van and helped deliver the baby but realized the infant wasn’t breathing. After massaging the baby’s back and getting no response, he said he used his finger to clear the newborn boy’s airway and untangled the umbilical cord from around his neck.

Van Ryn has served the Amvets as district commander, vice commander and, most recently, as Indiana state commander.

Saturday’s event begins with a 10 a.m. poker run, followed by food and entertainment at 2 p.m. The Waynedale post is at 6620 Koester Drive.