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Giving Credit Where Credit Isn't Due
By Michael Reagan


September 05, 2003
Friday - 12:30 am

Pvt. Jessica Lynch fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she

ran out of ammunition," The Washington Post breathlessly reported.

Citing accounts by "U.S. officials" the Post wrote that the 19-year-old supply clerk "continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in her unit die around her in fighting March 23.

"She was fighting to the death. She did not want to be taken alive."

According to The Post the same official said "Lynch was also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in on her position," and added that initial intelligence reports even indicated that she had been stabbed to death."

The whole story, the Post later admitted, was an outright lie, apparently concocted by some Pentagon flacks to help recruit more females into the armed services, and by militant feminists determined to abolish the rules forbidding the use of women in combat.

Pvt. Lynch was crushed when her vehicle turned over and fell on her, breaking numerous bones and causing serious internal injuries. Moreover, it is reported that she was probably unconscious during the entire firefight, and was neither shot nor stabbed.

Despite the fact that Jessica had done nothing heroic she has now been awarded a Bronze Star medal, the fourth highest decoration for valor in combat. And she's signed a million dollar book deal.

For Mrs. Arlene Walters those unearned honors are a direct slap in the face for the mother of the soldier who actually did what Lynch was said to have done, and died doing it.

According to his fellow soldiers, her son, Sgt. Donald Walters was killed after mounting a lone stand against the Iraqis. Yet few, if any, of the Americans watching Private Lynch's homecoming have even heard her son's name. "The military tell us that everyone who was in her unit was a hero," Mrs. Walters said. "In fact they have singled out Jessica Lynch as the hero, and they are not giving the recognition to my son that he deserves.

"The fighter that they thought was Jessica Lynch was Donald," Mrs. Walters told Australia's The Age. "When he was found he had two stab wounds in the abdomen, and he'd been shot once in the right leg and twice in the back. And he'd emptied his rounds of ammunition. Just like they said Jessica had done at first."

Jessica Lynch's million dollar book deal is an outrage. The whole story was concocted by some hack publicist in the very beginning and it turned out to be utterly untrue. Then on top of that they give her the Bronze Star for doing what? She did nothing.

Is this fair to other females in the military? For the Pentagon to use this hyped up fictional account to try to recruit more females into the armed services was just plain outrageous.

If she was any kind of soldier at all she'd take that money and put it into a fund to take care of the loved ones of her fellow soldiers who died in that ambush.

She should have turned down that medal - she did nothing to earn it and it is an insult to every member of the armed forces who was awarded that medal for heroism in combat.

I can't avoid thinking about how Ronald Reagan, my father turned down a promotion to major before he left the service in WW II. He said the promotion should go to men who were serving overseas, which he could not because without his glasses he was legally blind - the thought of him in combat horrified the family - we didn't know who he'd end up shooting at.

My dad knew he wasn't worthy of that promotion and he left the army as a captain. Jessica Lynch is a fine young American who has suffered horribly and deserves our sympathy for what she has endured and will endure as she goes through the painful process of rehabilitation from her injuries. But Jessica Lynch knows she did not deserve that medal, and she should have done the honorable thing and turned it down, along with that million dollar book deal.

Mike Reagan, the eldest son of President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Premiere Radio Network.

©2003 Mike Reagan.
Mike's column is distributed to subscribers for publication by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc.


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