85-year-old Col. Edward Ryan kept secret with him his whole life so he could "forever rest in peace."

Col. Edward Thomas Ryan died on the first day of Pride Month (June 1) at the age of 85 from complications related to cancer.

Also See: Mystery Of the Amazing Hudson Valley Superyacht Unraveled

The obituary for Edward Thomas Ryan talks about his long and distinguished military career, serving in Vietnam. A few of Colonel Ryan's awards, decorations and commendations include The National Defense Service Medal, and Defense of Liberty Medal "For participation to the State following the attack on America, 11 September 2001".

He also received a citation by the direction of the Governor of the State of New York, and "The Conspicuous Service Medal." The citation reads in part, "Col Ryan's Loyalty, Diligence and Devotion to Duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military Service and a long and distinguished Military career which reflect great credit upon himself and the State of New York."

From the Division of Military and Naval Affairs, he received the "Commander's Citation" for "Service Above and Beyond the Call...."

Col. Edward Ryan/ Legacy.com, Hans Funeral Home
Col. Edward Ryan/ Legacy.com, Hans Funeral Home

The obituary ends by saying that Edward wanted to say the following:

"I must tell you one more thing. I was Gay all my life: thru grade school, thru High School, thru College, thru Life. I was in a loving and caring relationship with Paul Cavagnaro of North Greenbush. He was the love of my life. We had 25 great years together. Paul died in 1994 from a medical procedure gone wrong. I'll be buried next to Paul. I'm sorry for not having the courage to come out as Gay. I was afraid of being ostracized: by Family, Friends, and Co-Workers. Seeing how people like me were treated, I just could not do it. Now that my secret is known, I'll forever Rest in Peace. See the full obituary here.

Get our free mobile app

While battling intestinal cancer, Col. Edward Ryan came out in a self-authored obituary in one of his final acts of courage. "Heartbreaking" and "tragic" are two of the most common words used when the obituary is shared on Facebook. Others say, "This is why we still need Pride Month." Thank you for your service and your bravery Col. Edward Ryan. Rest easy good Sir.

Entire Albany New York Neighborhood Left Abandoned

This entre Guilderland, New York neighborhood has been vacant for years. Why did these residents leave? Why was so much left behind? Furniture, old photographs and school books still sit where they were last touch, as if time stood still.

Gallery Credit: Karolyi

10 Popular Albany Landmarks 'Then Vs. Now' using Google Maps

Gallery Credit: Brian Cody TSM Albany