Why we serve: U.S. Army Spc. Ian Lynch
Everyone has a different reason for joining the Military. In 1992 I graduated from high school and joined the Massachusetts National Guard to pay for college. While in the Guard a friend convinced me to join the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). I joined to become an officer in the National Guard. But as college graduation neared I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do after school. I elected to go active duty. Sixteen years later I am still at it!
So I thought this story below was interesting. Specialist Ian Lynch joined the Army in a time of war. He knew by signing his name to that Army enlistment contract that he was going to fight and possibly die for his country.
Ian represents everything that is great about our country. From the Minuteman of the Revolution to the Soldiers of today, young American’s have risked it all in the defense of this nation.
It is Soldiers like Ian who keep me in the military. It is an honor to serve with them.
Why we serve: U.S. Army Spc. Ian Lynch
Story by Staff Sgt. Alexis Ramos
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Sitting in a college classroom almost three years ago and surrounded with students eager to learn, something felt out of place that day for U.S. Army Spc. Ian Lynch, a native of Palatine, Ill.
“Right there and then I said ‘You always wanted to join, go join’,” said Lynch, a tactical explosive detector dog handler with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “I got up out of class, went home, slept on it and woke up the next morning and went to the recruiter.”
“She always said she’s supportive of anything I decided to do, so she played the ‘I’m a supportive mother role’,” he said with a smile.
Three years after his initial amendment into the U.S. Army, she still supports him, continued Lynch. A snowboarder since the age of three, Lynch was always looking for the next thrill. When joined the Army in 2009, he only saw one job that could meet his adventure seeking ways.
“I didn’t see any other job that fit for myself other than being infantry [and] always having that adrenaline rush that the infantry was going to provide,” said Lynch.
“There’s really no adrenaline rush like it,” explained Lynch, who is now a veteran of war. “You don’t get that feeling of getting into a firefight [any other way]. There’s nothing else that touches that.”
Serving in his second tour to Afghanistan, his mission has changed from his first deployment.
“I was infantry last tour. I was a designated marksman and SAW gunner,” said Lynch. “This TEDD opportunity came up, and it’s just taking a whole new responsibility.”
The tactical explosive detection dog handler program is a new program the Army created, explained the dog handler.
“It’s an amazing job, it’s not for everybody,” said Lynch. “Tough school… it takes a very select person to get to the level to deal with the dogs.”
His partner against the Taliban threat is a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Pista. Together they have done about a dozen patrols along eastern Afghanistan.
“It’s a lot different,” said Lynch, comparing it to his first tour as an infantryman. “I guess you’re a little more on edge, because you’re trained to watch for his settle indications when he gets an odor. You’re watching out just for him as well as keeping an eye out for your surroundings and pulling security for yourself.”
“I feel it helps out a lot,” he said. “[Taliban’s] main fight is the [improvised explosive devices] and when you get dogs like this and people like this, it takes away their fight. They don’t like to engage in small arms [fire] all the time, they like the big catastrophic blast, and it takes it away.”
“I know they see us out there, and I know they are watching us with the dogs,” said Lynch referring to the Taliban. “They know what the dogs are doing; they know they are trying to find those IED’s.”
The TEDD program is greatly beneficial to the Army. If the Army continues the program, the Army would need more dogs and handlers, explained Lynch.
“It’s dangerous, but in the long run it’s better,” he said.
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