I had met Allen Lynch before, but had a chance to have an extended conversation with him last night. We were both attending the Pritzker Military Library Gala.
If you don't know anything about Lynch, here's a summary from the library:
On December 15th, 1967, Lynch and the rest of his platoon were on their way back for a well-deserved rest when they were called in to support another company that had been outnumbered by an enemy force. Under intense fire, Lynch carried three wounded soldiers to safety, and single-handedly defended them against the advancing enemy force for several hours
The library hands out some awards every year that pertain to writing military history. Last year they honored Rick Atkinson, who attended last night by the way. His third book on the war in Europe is being wrapped up. Last night, they honored Carlo d’ Este who has written several great books on World War Two history.
It was really nice to speak with Mr. Lynch. One interesting thing we talked about was the jobless rate. I mentioned that my grandfather was a welder in the New Orleans shipyard back in WW2. When the jobs ran out he moved to Michigan where the jobs were. Had never lived in the north, but needed the money.
Today, there are jobs picking crops in Alabama and doing things in North Dakota. But it seems people don’t want to move there to do them. Is it because the jobs are beneath them? Or is it because the government safety net is too deep?
Neither of us knew the answer. But I did find out Allen is a Cub fan. He also told me to shave my head since we are both have challenges there!
Click the embedded link above and you can hear Allen’s story. Truly amazing.