14 May 2008

Interview with MG Rick Lynch at the Castle

FbL has posted the final installment of her three-part interview with Major General Rick Lynch, Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division (MND-C, Iraq).

In closing, I asked MG Lynch if there was anything I hadn't mentioned that he feels is not being heard back home. He replied with intensity, "I continue to find myself frustrated by the idea that the American army is at the breaking point!"

He referenced 3ID's record-breaking rate of reenlistment, with fiscal year goals met in March despite having deployed 3 times since 2003 and currently finishing up a 15-month deployment. "But [they are] reenlisting because they believe that what they are doing is important--protecting our freedoms and way of life--in their souls. They believe in the mission, as I do."

Go read about the mission of 3rd ID and the accomplishments made in the areas of security, reconstruction, and economic development. It's not all about fighting by any means - MG Lynch has apparently learned a lot more about fish and poultry farms than he anticipated, in spite of the COIN nature of the 3rd ID's mission.

And so MG Lynch and the rest of 3ID HQ will be home by about June 3, after 15 long months at "war..." Or at something that no longer resembles war for them, so much as it resembles a cross between the later stages of a disaster recovery operation or the typical Peace Corps project.

Make sure to read Part I and Part II of the interview, too.

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