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What do Jessica Lynch and Meg Ryan have in common? April 27, 2007

Posted 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.”

Jessica Lynch Political Cartoon

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.


1. Gina - April 28, 2007

Are they willing just to easily award a woman in the military because she is a woman–as if her making it in the military should be rewarded in itself. I don’t believe that just giving a woman a medal would be good for other military women if she doesn’t fully deserve it. I think it puts down the power of women making them think they could never be as powerful or as respected as men in the military.

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