Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Reading about Jessica Lynch last night...

2003 doesn't seem like it was that long ago, yet it was.  I remember that year very well because it was the first full year I was married to Bill.  It was a difficult time for us because I was struggling to find a job; we lived in a yucky apartment; and the wars were raging.  Last night, I read about Jessica Lynch on CNN.com.

I remember March 23, 2003, when PFC Jessica Lynch was captured in Iraq.  The initial news reports about her made the West Virginia native sound like some kind of badass avenging angel who went down fighting.  The reality was that she never managed to fire a shot.  She was badly injured when her humvee crashed.  She spent days in an Iraqi hospital until the elite U.S. forces rescued her.  Since then, she has suffered from PTSD and undergone 22 surgeries to correct damage done when her feet and legs were crushed.  But she's also become a mother and earned bachelor's and master's degrees qualifying her to be a teacher.

I remember the early years after Lynch's ordeal.  She was hailed as a heroine by many people, while others scoffed at her for even being in the Army.  There was a book written about her.  Author Rick Bragg wrote I Am A Soldier Too, which I read and reviewed years ago.  There was also a television movie, which aired the same night as a movie about another famous blonde victim named Elizabeth Smart.

A lot of people made comments about how Lynch and Smart were pretty blondes, so they got media attention.  SPC Shoshana Johnson, a young black woman who was also captured, along with several other male soldiers, got a lot less air time.  But then, Johnson also wasn't nearly as badly injured as Lynch was.  Johnson and her comrades were in captivity for 22 days.  She too, has written a book.  I haven't read it yet.    

The media went a bit crazy over Jessica Lynch and was in the news all the time for well over a year.  Then, finally, she faded into obscurity and began living her quiet life in her hometown of Elizabeth, West Virginia.

I have always been kind of impressed by Jessica Lynch, who still honors her old friend, Lori Piestewa.  Piestewa was killed during the ambush.  She and Lynch were best friends, having met in boot camp.  Jessica gave her daughter, Dakota, Lori's middle name of Ann.  Jessica Lynch strikes me as a person with integrity and great strength.  No, she wasn't the heroine painted by early media reports.  She still has a lot more bravery and substance than a lot of people have.  And she has to live with the aftereffects of joining the Army and being a prisoner of war.


This is from 2010.  I am amazed at her poise and ability to talk about this without totally freaking out.



From 2007.
 
It's amazing all that has happened since 2003.  I think Jessica Lynch has earned peace and prosperity.  I am glad to see she's made some of her dreams come true and is living a good life with her family in West Virginia.  I only wish she hadn't had to sacrifice so much for what she has now.

2 comments:

  1. i was always impressed by jessica lynch. the public loves to build its heoes and heroines up so that they can be torn down in some way. She wasn't thouroughly torn down, but she received more negative publicity than anyone going through what she went through deserved. hell, i don't think she deserved any negative publicity whatsoever.

    it makes me happy that she completed her education and has a child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. She was just trying to get her education.

      Delete

Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.