What do Jessica Lynch and Meg Ryan have in common? April 27, 2007Posted by rachaelg in Courage Under Fire, in the news, Jessica Lynch, Meg Ryan, new york times, stereotypes, wartime politics, women in the military.
In today’s New York Times, Michael Delong’s Opinion article, Politics During Wartime, immediately reminded me of our class discussion of Meg Ryan in Courage Under Fire. Delong’s job (like Denzel’s in the film) was to find out what really happened before Jessica Lynch became a prisoner of war, while politicians urged him to just award her a Medal of Honor.Delong writes, “The politicians repeatedly said that a medal would be good for women in the military; I responded that the paramount issue was finding out what had really happened.”
Unlike Denzel, Delong discovers that initial reports of Lynch’s heroic acts were untrue; “her actions were understandable and justifiable, but they could not be labeled heroic,” he says. He is also quick to note that “Private Lynch has never claimed to be a hero. As she told Congress earlier this week, the “story of the little girl Rambo from the hills who went down fighting” was not true.”
Delong’s main issue is the political interference in these matters rather than any injustice or stereotype of military women.