Jessica Lynch never asked to be a symbol of anything, much less play the role of a public hero. She told the truth about her rescue from the start, telling the press that there was a lot she couldn’t remember, and urging people not to forget her comrades who died in the incident in which she was captured. After the brief moment of fame; brief because she didn’t want to feed into it, she resumed her life and her recuperation. Recently she spoke at a congressional hearing about the falsehoods broadcast about her and Cpl. Pat Tillman, whose death by friendly fire was concealed under a load of propaganda until his family demanded the truth.
“At first I didn’t even realize the stories that were being told,” she said. “It was quite a while afterwards, and then I found out. It was a little disappointing. And I knew that I had to get the truth out there because, one, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself … knowing that these stories were portraying me to do something that I didn’t.”
Jessica Lynch survived a mission that took the lives of eleven of her fellow soldiers. Her close friend, Lori Piestewa was the first American woman soldier to die in the Iraq war. Lori Piestewa was a Native American from the Hopi Nation and leaves behind two small children. (A beautiful tribute to Lori can be found here.)
The Bush administration always saw winning the war as a matter of spin,
“From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.” said former White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card just prior to the war.
We were supposed to be sold on the war, while our volunteer army rained down Shock and Awe and our President paraded around in a flight suit and a whole rack of other uniforms he never earned. Now we’re facing what we’ve bought with our money and the lives of too many Americans and Iraqis. Feel-good stories about our soldiers that turn out to be lies are just a drop in this bucket of blood. I’m not surprised that George Bush is in no hurry to bring our troops back home. He and we have a lot to answer for.