Article Overview:   How would you feel if you were Jessica Lynch's father or mother?   Would you be bitter, angry, hurling invectives at American policy in Iraq that caused your daughter to be crippled, maimed, scarred for life?   Or, would you stand above the pain and suffering of a parent, and look to the future of all the Children's Children's Children, and summarize your feelings in relation to future generations rather than the current one?   Find out what Greg Lynch says about his daughter's pain, and why he is a Parent of Vigilance rather than a Parent of Vehemence.


Saturday--November 15, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 794
Jessica Lynch's Father
Proffers His Vision of Vigilance

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Nov. 15, 2003-- If any parent had a right to throw rocks at the American policy in Iraq that puts the sons and daughters of this land at mortal risk, the leader of that pack might well be Jessica Lynch's father, Greg.

         Instead of denigrating the U.S. policy that maimed and crippled his daughter, and put her in the vortex of harm's way, Greg Lynch summed up his feelings about the war in a simple but profound sentence:
        "If we hadn't gone in over there, they would have been over here next."
        His words were recorded in the November 17, 2003 Time Magazine cover story on his daughter, Jessica, held prisoner by the Iraqis after her unit was ambushed in the early stages of the war.
        Eleven of the 32 soldiers with her that day died, six were captured, eight were wounded.   In a rescue effort broadcast around the world, Jessica Lynch became the war's "poster girl," an American teenager ravished by the Beast of Terror.
        Controversy swirled over her rescue.   The government was accused of spinning the story, making it into a propaganda shell to elicit sympathy and support.   But no matter what the political undercurrents, Jessica Lynch remains crippled both physically and mentally by her experience, one that no parent would wish upon his or her child.   

Lynch spent 100 day at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. being patched up

        She spent 100 days at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. as surgeons worried over her, patching up the broken bones and trying to repair bowels and bladders that didn't work, and still don't.
        There were a lot of mistakes in the blitz of American troops rushing toward Baghdad to oust Saddam Hussein and free Iraq from more than two decades of despotic leadership that included the threat of biological weapons poised to thwart any U.S. invasion.
        Jessica's unit, the 507th Maintenance Company, was at the end of an 8,000-vehicle, 100-mile supply convoy barreling toward Baghdad.    A goof on a map led Jessica's unit into the heart of enemy territory where the ambush occurred and history began shining its light on the 18-year-old from Palestine, West Virginia, who joined the Army to see the world.  
        But instead, the world saw her.
        They saw her in a variety of ways--from the soldier being carried out of the Iraqi hospital by Special Forces--to her interviews with Diane Sawyer, the movie about her on television and the book written about her experiences.

Greg Lynch with growing  family

       It would be within the scope of reason to have her parents express bitterness and anger toward the events surrounding their daughter's capture and the robbing of her mobility.    But, instead of castigating the United States and shaking fingers at the horrors of war's mismanagement as so many Presidential candidates and critics do daily, the family spokesman, Greg, put it in terms of Vigilance rather Vehemence:   "If we hadn't gone in over there, they would have been over here next."
       It is important to mull those words.
       Jessica's father isn't focused on the broken bones or failed bladder and bowels of his daughter.    He doesn't point to the erroneous map that took his daughter's convoy into the jaws of the Beast of Terror, or angrily shake his fist in front of television cameras to opportunize the moment to rail against the "higher ups" who are the targets of constant attacks on the war's efforts to bring peace and security to Iraq.
       Instead, he looks far beyond the clutter of the day into the future.    A true Parent of Vigilance has vision.  He or she sees beyond the moment to what is the right thing that needs to be done today to protect future generations.
       He or she sees the eyes of the Children's Children's Children.   He or she acts in behalf of their safety and security in selfless acts that often take far more Courage and Conviction than one can imagine.
       "If we hadn't gone over there, they would have been over here next."
       What is Greg Lynch saying?
       He could have said:  "If we hadn't gone over there, my daughter wouldn't be crippled."
       That would have been a selfish statement, one rooted in the present, one that would cloud the perspective of a true Parent of Vigilance.
       He looked past his daughter's pain, past the suffering and the turmoil of media reports and government misinformation that adds stress and strain to his daughter's life as she struggles to regain the ability to walk and function in as normal a fashion as possible.

Jessica's father, Greg, knows the Beast of Terror  (above with rescued Jessica recuperating at home)

      He saw what any Sentinel of Vigilance sees when the future is peered upon.  He saw the Beast of Terror.  He saw Americans standing up the Bully Beast, hacking at his underbelly in an attempt to warn him that any and all efforts to instill Fear, Intimidation and Complacency will be met with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children.
       Greg Lynch sees the footsteps of the Beast.   He knows the Beast froths at the mouth when those within this country turn their attention away from blocking Terrorism to Terrorizing the anti-Terrorists.
       There are many who say that every critique leveled at the Administration over Iraq is fuel for the Beast of Terror to attack more Americans, to ambush them, to blow them up, to drive them from the land they spilled their blood upon so that freedom could flow in the rivers of tyranny and oppression.
        This isn't to say that in America that one must muffle his or her dissent.   Dissent is the key to freedom.  But it also means that within the hurling of dissent, vision is also a necessity for dissent to have value.  While one can rail against the war and bad judgments and question the policy of the Administration, one cannot do this with justice without including in such dissent the viewpoint that Greg Lynch has offered us:    "If we hadn't gone in over there, they would have been over here next."
        In another way, he's saying:  "If we don't fight the Beast of Terror, who will?   If we don't make a stand against Terrorism now, it will come to roost on our doorsteps tomorrow."
       He isn't supporting the tactics of our war against Terrorism, but he is the strategy.  That strategy is simple:   "Do it now so we don't have to do it later."

Greg Lynch's Vigilance Vision  is not blinded by his daughter's pain and suffering

       That's a giant view, one that requires Greg Lynch to stand above the broken and scarred body of his daughter, to not let her pain and suffering blind him to the vision of what is right for Jessica's children, her grandchildren, her grandchildren's grandchildren.
       In the quiet of the night, out of earshot of his daughter, Greg Lynch might sit and hang his head and cry over the pain of his daughter.  He might clench his fist and shake it at the Heavens or aim it toward Washington, D.C. and let his anger exit as any of us might.
       But, as he sits in the quiet and the tears finally dry, as his hands stop trembling and the anger of his selfish concerns for his daughter drain from exhaustion, he sees something far greater and more vast than the present suffering of his offspring, and the suffering of all those who are at risk today in Iraq.     

Greg Lynch sees beyond the innocence of his daughter and other children and only sees the Beast of Terror lurking. (pix--Jessica playing softball)

      He sees the faces of the Children's Children's Children, and behind their innocence, he sees the Beast of Terror licking his chops, rubbing his hands, waiting for Fear, Intimidation and Complacency to burrow into the marrow of America's soul.
       He sees the Beast's cunning patience, willing to let the sorrow and pain of standing up for what is right ferment into sour grapes and then retreat.   He sees the Beast applauding all the politicians who acerbically poison the credibility of American policy in hopes they might gain votes through dissent, politicians who are playing directly to the hands of the Beast of Terror, acting in allegiance to his goals of making America "wrong" so that its will to fight the Beast will wane, so that the blood of all the victims of war will be spilled in vain.
       Greg Lynch won't let his daughter's suffering blind him to the future.   That would be too easy.  Just as it would be easy for Jessica Lynch to feel she was victim of the war, which, by all accounts, she doesn't.

Lynch receives Purple Heart

  Father, daughter and the entire Lynch family stand as Sentinels of Vigilance.   They believe, what we all should, or at least should be willing to express when we Voice our opinions that:  "If we hadn't gone over there, they would have been over here next."
Try out those words.   Try and say them as Greg Lynch said them.   Say them as a Sentinel of Vigilance, a Parent of Vigilance, a Grandparent of Vigilance, a Citizen of Vigilance.
        And then, take the Pledge of Vigilance if you haven't.   It will help you see what Greg Lynch sees, what Jessica Lynch sees--the Beast of Terror on the run.

Nov. 14--The Rapper Of Vigilance--'P. Diddy' Combs

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