Today on my drive into work, I was listening to a local radio talk show (KFI640
), who was talking about Jessica Lynch and her heroic moments. I have to stop and ask, what exactly did she do that was heroic? Now, I can already tell I'm going to get a lot of flames or hate mail by saying that, but hear me out.
Jessica Lynch to me is not a hero. Why would she be? Here are a few things to keep in mind. She is a marine. She was not in a front line division, but the 507th Maintaince company following behind. They took a wrong turn, and ended up being captured. There are over 150+ dead military and countless civilian deaths so far. What exactly did she do to become a hero? This, taken from CNN's website:
"A convoy of Lynch's unit was ambushed March 23 by Iraqi forces near Nasiriya after it apparently took a wrong turn.
Seven other members of 507th Maintenance Company remain missing, five are prisoners of war and another is listed as killed in action. At least four members of the unit were wounded."
What about the other 5 POW's, or 4 wounded and the one KIA? Are they all hero's? Where is all the media about them?
Should she be a hero for living to tell her tale? I don't think so. While it probably wasn't her direct fault for the situation she ended up in, there was nothing heroic about being captured. She wasn't in much of a position to tell the Iraqies anything of value, so being tortured wasn't heroic. Being wounded wasn't heroic. Being rescued wasn't heroic.
Now that I've probably got you thinking I'm some sort of anti-war freak, or anti U.S. or something crazy, let me explain myself. As I said before, do I think she's a hero? In a word, no. Now, what I do believe, is that she has earned my respect wholeheatedly. I respect that she serves in the military (no matter where she does it or what she does), I can't imagine the horror's she faced, while beaten, and probably raped. I mean, 2 broken legs, a broken back, I think I recall gunshot wounds or being stabbed (rumor at this point), is one hell of a thing to face and survive. Something you have to keep in context though, is that it's part of the job. Every service man/woman knows that certain things are inherient to conflict. Being killed is one, being captured is another. Does the fact that she was captured and tortured make her a hero? I don't think so.
Now, I fully support the war, and I think we are doing the right thing in Iraq. That being said, here is who I think the real hero's are. The first group, are the marines who rescued Jessica Lynch. However, this is only a partial heroism. They too, were only doing their job. I guess in those terms, they too should not be coined as hero's. They put their lives at risk, to rescue someone who was captured. A heroic sounding job, but a job none the less. So I guess you can count them out.
Again from CNN:
"During the raid early Wednesday, members of rescue team fought their way into the hospital, found Lynch and fought their way out."
and from her own father:
"It takes a brave bunch of people to risk their own lives to go in and free a hostage," said Gregory Lynch Sr. "We didn't even know she was captured, you know. Last we knew she was just missing in action."
They are all brave. All of the men and women who serve in the military. They fight for our rights and freedoms, even when they don't necessarily agree with it. They fight for other people's god given rights, and the ability to be free, even when the population they are helping stand there and protest their being there (now that's a double standard of freedom.)
The true hero of this whole story, is a pair of people who will never get the recognition they truely deserve. After searching through several news sites, I cannot even find their names. They are the Doctor and husband who risked their lives to tell the U.S. soldiers that some POW's were being held in a hospital. The POW's? Some of the 507th, including Jessia Lynch. The husband walked 6 miles, through a warzone, to tell U.S. troops that they were being held in the hospital his wife worked at, risking not only his life, but the life of his wife, to help out U.S. POW's. He gathered more intelligence for the troops yet again risking their lives to get us this information. They are the true hero's. They too have earned my respect.
Update: 4/29/03 - From CNN.com -
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An Iraqi lawyer who helped U.S commandos locate and rescue prisoner of war Jessica Lynch has been granted asylum in the United States, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced Tuesday.
Lynch, a 20-year-old Army supply clerk from Palestine, W.Virginia, was captured March 23 after her 507th Maintenance Company convoy was ambushed in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. She was rescued from an Iraqi hospital in the city on April 1 after U.S. forces received a tip about her whereabouts from a lawyer known only as "Mohammed."
Ridge identified the man as Mohammed Al Rehaief and said the lawyer and his wife and 5-year-old daughter arrived in the United States earlier this month after Homeland Security granted them "humanitarian parole." On Monday, the family was granted asylum by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
"Mr. Al Rehaief should know Americans are grateful for his bravery and for his compassion," Ridge said.
Here Here! I agree! - TheDoc