Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why Was This Necessary?

In today's paper are two stories that make me wonder, "why was this necessary?"  One is about Jessica Lynch, now 28 and about to receive her college degree in Education.  The other is about Dakota Meyer.  Ms. Lynch served in the US Army.  She did a tour of duty nine years ago in Iraq.  She was a supply clerk.  She was a passenger in a convoy that was attacked.  She was injured - spinal fractures, nerve damage, a shattered right arm and badly damaged legs.  She was taken prisoner.  That story is enough to demonstrate that her service to the country included great danger, and to warrant our appreciation.  But the Army exaggerated the circumstances of her capture, and her role in the combat. To improve their public image? To rally public support?  Why? 

Dakota Meyer served in Afghanistan.   He received the Medal of Honor for his action during an ambush of his unit in 2009.  We now learn that the narrative that accompanied his award was embellished.  Unnecessarily.  It seems he would be worthy of his honor without the misrepresentation of additional enimies killed and wounded rescued.  As with Ms. Lynch's story, the story of Mr. Meyer's heroism was enhanced by the Marine Corps' Public Affairs office.  To improve their public image?  To rally public support?  Why.

Both these young adults deserve our recognition and thanks for their service to our country.  They do not deserve to be pawns in a public relations campaign.  Their personal reputations are at stake.  Shame on the editors.

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