Keeping the Faith

  1. I just wanted to say something about the recent rescue of the US Army Private from a hospital in Iraq.

    From a purely strategic point of view, the rescue of Private Lynch was unnecessary, if not a foolhardy risk of resources. She was a private in a maintainence unit. She was not in a position to be entrusted with secrets that could have affected the conduct of the war, her capture was just one more event. From that viewpoint, there was no need to rescue her.

    Nevertheless, we committed US Army Rangers, US Navy SEALS, helicopters, as well as a number of other logistical assets to the rescue of this one young girl. And that we did so was telling about the spirit and ethic of the US military. We found the location of a soldier who was being mistreated, and decided that it was necessary, for the sake of that one person, to commit the resources and take the risks necessary to rescue her. And that, above all else, is why I and many other veterans are proud of our service and our country. No matter what, we knew we could keep the faith with our country, and with our comrades, and our country would keep the same faith with us, and that every effort would be made on our behalf if and when the time ever came.

    I for one, am proud of CENTCOM, the chain of command, and the special operations forces that rescued Private Lynch. They showed her, and in the process, the rest of us, that our faith in our military command, and our faith in our country was not misplaced.

    Kevin McHugh
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   wv_nurse 2003
    "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
    Albert Pike

    I share your pride Kevin....the strength of the team is each individual member... and no member is forgotten
  4. by   rncountry
    I heard on the news today that this is the first rescue of this type of a military person since WWII. Other rescues of downed pilots have taken place, but not one in which a soldier was held by enemy forces. I am not sure if this is true or not.
    By the way do you know that WV has more of it's young people go into the military than any other state per capita of people? I found that interesting in light of the Scotch-Irish history of WV.
  5. by   wv_nurse 2003
    I did know that--and although I don't know the reason why, I would guess it has something to do with the fact that it is a depressed state economically--and the service is a career/education option for kids who maybe cant afford traditional schooling of college or technical school.
  6. by   eddy
    Originally posted by rncountry
    I heard on the news today that this is the first rescue of this type of a military person since WWII. Other rescues of downed pilots have taken place, but not one in which a soldier was held by enemy forces. I am not sure if this is true or not.
    I also wondered the same thing.

    One of my good friend's husband is a special ops guy of some sorts. He actually was wounded (shot in the ankle) and a good friend of his was killed in a "successful" rescue on an assignment that he can't discuss where it was.

    Hard to swallow, but maybe I'm missing something.
  7. by   Mkue
    I share your pride also Kevin. You just pointed out just how risky that mission was. All of those OPs could have lost their lives for the sake of one person. That is truly heroic.
  8. by   rncountry
    I would believe that the economics of WV have something to do with the amount of young men and women who join the armed forces, however I am inclined to believe that it also has a great deal to do with the history of the Scotch-Irish people who were the predominant group that settled the region in the early days of America.
    These people were Presbyterians from Scotland that in some cases went to Northern Ireland after it was somewhat subdued by William of Orange as King of England, and in some cases they were more or less forced there. These groups of Presbyterian Scots were extremely strong protestants, and had running battles with the English over their wish to force the Scots into the Church of England. These were not highlanders, who kept their loyalties more with the Catholics at least in matters spiritual. They were the lowlanders and the battles that took place in the border lands that were over religion were quite bad. In any case a great many ended up in Northern Ireland, battling again with the Irish Catholic. the beginnings of the modern day "troubles". In the early 1700's there was a great exodus of this group of people, who were Scots, but had lived in Ireland about three generations by now and had taken on much of the Irish culture as it was so very close to their own. They were of course, one people to start with centuries before anyway.
    The Scotch-Irish were given this label to delinate the difference between them, who were protestant and the Irish, who were by and large, Catholic. They were a people who had had to fight for a couple hundred years to keep the religion that they had and combined with a culture that praised those fighters, it became quite a norm for them to become "warriors". They had a tendency to believe there were three important things in life. God, Country and Family. In that order. Their faith eventually evolved into the Methodist and Baptist churches so prevelant in the south, and being a soldier was an honorable profession.
    Of course the Scotch-Irish did not just settle in Virginia, but also in the Carolina's and south PA. President Andrew Jackson was of Scotch-Irish hertiage. He told one young man:
    General Andrew Jackson
    "...I would recommend to you the history of the Scottish chiefs..." In talking about the Scottish warrior Sir William Wallace (who was portrayed in the movie Braveheart), Jackson said that Wallace was, "the best model for a young man...we find in him the truly undaunted courage, always ready for any brave dangers, for the relief of his country or his friend."
    The history of the Scotch-Irish in America is an interesting read. Particularly in light of all that they accomplished, and it's impact on the country as it developed, including the continuing impact it has on today.
  9. by   nursenoelle
    That is a very interesting perspective, rncountry. I have heard the argument that socioeconimic issues play I big role in who chooses to serve, read: alot of the soldiers have no other option.

    However, for many soldiers, it is " in the blood". Not that I am trying to put those words in your mouth. I do believe that it is for many, a cultural decision.
  10. by   rncountry
    I really believe there are many cultural norms that we do not think about in terms of the various groups that made America what it is.
    So many of those who went through the Cumberland Gap to settle kentucky were Scotch-Irish, as were many, many in Eastern Tennesse. It was this group of people from the eastern ends of Kentucky and Tennessee that went on to Texas. There are strong cultural norms between eastern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky and the culture of Texas. Generalizing broadly here, but when studying various cultural norms certain things jump out at you. The Scotch-Irish have a very strong history of wishing for individual freedoms and the mindset of independence from interference of others, particularly the govn't. The large influx of Scotch-Irish through the 1700's is credited with much of the push for independence from England.
    These are strong people, whether they have much materially or not. I find much to admire there.
    Sorry, to hijack your thread Kevin. I just have great admiration for these folks, and believe what Ms. Lynch's father said, that he knew the military had taught his daughter much, but that he believed much of what she needed to survive her ordeal came right from home, and the way she grew up.
    Nursenoelle, I think some people would like us to believe that the majority of kids join the military because they don't have any other option, and for some that is probably the case. Yet they put that theory out there as if it were something shameful, and they could not be more wrong.
  11. by   Disablednurse
    Our troops did a wonderful thing in rescuing this young private, but let's not forget the Iraqi gentleman that made it all possible. According to news reports, he walked six miles to tell the marines about her, then went back two times to get more information to help them find her. He, his wife and young daughter left everything they own, except for the clothes on their back to help get them info that they needed to make this successful. We do have servicemen to be proud of.
  12. by   eddy
    Good point.
  13. by   rncountry
    Hear, Hear! A true hero to me, as well.
  14. by   nursenoelle
    Disablednurse: I totally agree, a hero in my eyes as well

    Kevin: Cool thread . No one left behind, that makes my heart happy.

    Helen: Simply, rock on.

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