CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Lynch Family Comments
Aired April 2, 2003 - 10:09 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to dip into a news conference and hear what Jessica's brothers have to say about her very lucky, lucky rescue.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
GREG LYNCH JR., JESSICA LYNCH'S DAUGHTER: You handle it like you would handle anything else, professionally and in an orderly manner.
But this is a way for not only for our family's hope, but for other families that are watching this right now, that they know that the hope is out there, and that other soldiers are trying to get their family members back as well, whether it be their children or husbands or spouses.
QUESTION: What can you tell us about how your mom and dad raised you and your sisters?
LYNCH: They raised just like any other normal family, with loving care and -- it's just a family, a tight, close family. I couldn't ask for a better family. Whether I was here with this family or another family, they treat you just like any normal family, anybody.
QUESTION: When was the last time you talked with Jessica, what did you talk about?
LYNCH: Me and Jesse talk a lot. She has a cell phone, I have a cell phone; we stay in contact that way. But last time I saw Jesse was several, several, several months. It's been a while since I've been home. It's been past November. And she was in on I believe February, and I had missed that chance. So I believe it was January I saw Jesse last. We stay in contact through phone. I didn't get to talk to her like the family did before she left. She called me, but I was unavailable at that time, and I missed her call. But I was aware she was leaving. I haven't been staying in contact that close.
QUESTION: How long are you going to be home?
LYNCH: Right now, I have emergency leave till the 11th of April, sir. The way it's looking, hopefully that if she comes home anytime soon, hopefully my leave could be extended, but it's undetermined right now. The important matter is whether I'm in for a day to see her or a week to see her, just to see her is all that matters right now.
QUESTION: How has this experience changed your perspective on your own position in the military and your duty to serve?
LYNCH: It hasn't changed my -- I've -- when she called me and said she was going, I was jealous, I wanted to go as well. But, you know, she's trained to do the job as well as I'm trained to dot job. So, you know, whether it's me or her or the next men and women coming up, you know, it's a daily job when you do what your told to do and when you're told do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Greg Lynch. Greg Lynch is a little worn out.
GREG LYNCH, JESSICA LYNCH'S FATHER: Hello there.
QUESTION: How are you doing, sir?
Hi, I'm Joanna from London. I want to say congratulations.
And when are you going hear from Jesse? Why haven't you heard yet?
GREG LYNCH: I have no idea why we haven't heard anything yet. We hope it's very soon.
QUESTION: She's okay?
GREG LYNCH: Well, we know she's in a hospital being taken care of.
QUESTION: How do you feel about she's safe?
GREG LYNCH: Wonderful, real wonderful. She been through a big ordeal.
QUESTION: Mr. Lynch, the last time we talked you said you will never give up hope, you have every faith she will come home. How do you think that faith and hope helped turn this into reality?
GREG LYNCH: That's about all we have got to hold on to is faith and hope. We lose faith and hope and quit praying to the Lord, there's no hope. So you got to keep it soaring high.
QUESTION: Tell us about that.
GREG LYNCH: We started having evening prayer meetings, and it really, really helped a lot to boost our morale. We feel it really brought the Lord in closer, and Jesse could definitely feel that she was being prayed for.
QUESTION: Mr. Lynch, you had some opportunity to see some pictures of your daughter this morning. How did that make you feel, seeing her an knowing she's safe?
GREG LYNCH: It made me feel wonderful, that she is safe in a hospital, but it's not like not not getting the word.
QUESTION: Mr. Lynch, through this whole ordeal, I haven't seen you smile like you are right now. Can you explain, I mean, what jubilation it was for you hear the news that Jesse is indeed alive?
DEE LYNCH, JESSICA'S LYNCH'S MOTHER: Oh, it's just so exciting. I mean, just a whole different adrenaline feeling. It was wonderful.
QUESTION: Who answered the phone when the call came?
GREG LYNCH: I did.
QUESTION: What did they say to you, sir?
GREG LYNCH: We -- I kind of figured, well this being April 1st, was kind of a real bad deal to be doing this.
GREG LYNCH: And I asked three or four times just to make sure they said the same name, and I even went to the table and got a pencil and paper, and wrote some numbers down, because I just figured this was just an April Fool's deal.
QUESTION: When you do talk to your daughter, what do you want her to know? What do you want to tell her right now?
GREG LYNCH: That we love her and the little brat caused a big stir in this county.
QUESTION: Do you think now she'll get you the jeep she promised you?
GREG LYNCH: That jeep doesn't matter right now.
QUESTION: What do you know of her injuries? Has she been shot?
GREG LYNCH: We have not been confirmed nothing, just what the TV...
QUESTION: We understand she was shot in the rescue mission. Have you heard about that?
GREG LYNCH: No, no.
QUESTION: What do you think about, you know, her comrades actually died and she made out, you know, what is your opinion about other soldiers that haven't made it back?
GREG LYNCH: Well, our heart really is saddened over it, and we knew if we went to war, casualties was going to happen. Just something that I feel really sorry for the other parents and families.
QUESTION: Have you heard from any of the other MIA families?
GREG LYNCH: No.
Yes, yes, it has to do that, because she knows now in her own experience that they're out there trying to get to them.
QUESTION: What do you think about this really valiant rescue mission that took place to get your daughter out of the Iraqi hospital? Any words to those special forces and the skill it took to do what they did, and the diversionary tactics?
GREG LYNCH: You know, it took -- it takes a brave bunch of people to risk their own lives to go in and free a hostage. We didn't even know she was captured, you know. It was last -- last we heard, she was just missing in action. So that was a big shock when we found out she was captured.
QUESTION: You mentioned that you thought it was an April Fool's joke. Once you realized it was actually true what did you do, and how did you spread the news?
GREG LYNCH: I think everybody heard all the screaming and shouting that was going around.
QUESTION: As a mother, what do you want to tell Jesse when you get to talk to her?
DEE LYNCH: I love her, and she's been so badly missed and thought of. It's just unbelievable. What I really, really want to say to her, she's been missed and loved.
QUESTION: When were you at your lowest point in the last six weeks? It must have felt like six years?
GREG LYNCH: Yes, yes, it really did. And like I say, we haven't got to talk to her yet and -- or any word of her condition.
QUESTION: Is it a technical problem, or is it because she's sick?
DEE LYNCH: Probably just procedure.
GREG LYNCH: You know, probably a procedure. They go through. More or less,they want to make sure she's doing all right before they get our hopes really high.
QUESTION: In a strange way, are you relieved that she's in hospital as opposed to being a prisoner of war?
GREG LYNCH: Yes, yes.
QUESTION: Anything can happen?
GREG LYNCH: Yes, like I say, we didn't know she was captive, and that really hit hard.
QUESTION: Do you have any thoughts about trying to go over to see her, or are you going to wait to see what the situation is first?
GREG LYNCH: Well, you know...
QUESTION: I realize it's complicated.
GREG LYNCH: Yes, it's complicated right now, because we haven't received any word, and I guess if we had to, we'd walk to get to her.
QUESTION: As a mother, what kind of emotions are you feeling right now about your younger daughter going to serve?
DEE LYNCH: I still support her. Jesse was strong, and all three of my kids are strong. They're military-minded. So I support her 100 percent. I mean, of course, I'm a mother, I worry, but I support her.
QUESTION: What do you think Jessica's decision will be to come back and obviously have some time off and then continue her contract in the military or go ahead and...
DEE LYNCH: I figure she'll want to go ahead and continue her contract. I don't know. She'd have to answer.
QUESTION: That's the kind of will that she has, though?
DEE LYNCH: Yes. She's not a quitter. She's not a quitter.
QUESTION: Some people would consider her a hero. Do you?
DEE LYNCH: Oh, yes.
GREG LYNCH: Many, many times, yes.
QUESTION: I think it's unusual that all three of your children decided to enlist in the military. Can you tell us what it's like as a parent? I mean, what role did you play in their decision? And what kind of support have you given them? Do you guys have a long history of family serving?
GREG LYNCH: This back through the family, yes. There's been quite a few that's enlisted in the military. We support them 100 percent for their choice, you know. They know that they can get a lot of career out of this, and it's going to help them in the long run.
QUESTION: Mr. Lynch, last time we talked, you said Jesse grew up as a country girl, and you felt that prepared her to deal with what she might come across overseas. Now that you know what actually has happened or part of it, do you think that's a fair perception?
GREG LYNCH: Yes, yes. What she has learned, you know, growing up in the country and woods and what, heck, her brother has put her through, that kind of prepared her a lot.
QUESTION: Do you anticipate she'll be coming back to the states to get treatments?
GREG LYNCH: We don't know at this time. I would assume, yes.
QUESTION: Her birthday's April 26th, is that right?
It would be pretty nice to have her here.
GREG LYNCH: It would be, wonderful.
QUESTION: What were you doing when you heard the news that she was all right?
GREG LYNCH: Yes, just sitting around. We had just finished eating a bite and we just kind of out on the porch relaxing.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts about the conflict in Iraq now? Is it unfolding the way you imagined? Have your views changed at all?
GREG LYNCH: You've always got to keep hope and prayer going. And, yes, we -- you know, we didn't figure that it would be as soon as it was. But they are making great progress.
QUESTION: Do you know why it took CENTCOM so long to make the statement?
GREG LYNCH: No, we had no idea.
QUESTION: Did they reach you when they first announced it, or did they -- was there a problem in reaching you?
GREG LYNCH: Well, you mean when she was missing?
GREG LYNCH: They kept postponing the conference, and we just kind of figured, well, we're not out in the city.
DEE LYNCH: It would take some time.
GREG LYNCH: It would take time to locate us where we were.
QUESTION: What are you going to tonight? And what are you going to do when Jessica comes back?
DEE LYNCH: Get some rest.
QUESTION: When was the last night you had a good night's sleep?
GREG LYNCH: I don't remember.
QUESTION: What are you going to do when your daughter comes back?
GREG LYNCH: Well, as soon as she's capable, we're planning one heck of a big shindig.
QUESTION: The whole state?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I appreciate. The families asked that we bring Mr. and Mrs. Lynch back in. And thank you for your time, and appreciate your questions.
ZAHN: And for those of you just joining us, we have been listening to members of Private First Class Jessica Lynch's family talk about their jubilation that she has in fact been rescued by an American team involving Marines, Army special Rangers, a whole range of resources.
Now Mr. Lynch described -- when hearing the news last night on the telephone, that he had first thought it was some kind of cruel April Fool's Day joke, and he even described writing down the numbers of some of the folks in the military who just called him to make sure this wasn't some kind of sick prank.
He also made an interesting comment, when he said it was a big shock to learn that his daughter had actually been captured. They were working under the assumption that she had been missing in action. Of course, had no idea where she was, and then he very quickly brought us up to date, saying he doesn't know much about her physical condition right now, that they know she's in the hospital, that she's being taken care of, that she's been through quite an ordeal over there.
Our Pentagon reporters confirming that she did suffer multiple gun shot wounds. He also said that he is expecting she probably will come home for further treatment. So it is a day of jubilation in Palestine, West Virginia.
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