Eighteen year-old Ryan Jerabek of Green Bay, Wisconsin longed to escape from the confines of his Midwestern town. In an effort to change his environment and circumstances and shape his future, Ryan - who felt deeply and intimately touched by the events of September 11, 2001 - enlisted in the U.S. armed forces. He began boot camp in the summer of 2003, weeks after his graduation from Pulaski High School. Not long after, Ryan was promptly shipped off to Iraq. . . and killed within nine months. With her film Jerabek, documentarian Civia Tamarkin observes Ryan's family over the ensuing two year period - and explores the complex, often tortuous emotional journey undergone by the individual members. The title of the film stands as both a testament to Ryan and his family, and a reminder - per the omission of his Christian name - that the U.S. military does not personalize its recruits.