Jessica Lynch, ex-prisoner of war, on women in combat

Lynch was 19 when she was captured in Iraq after her Army unit took a wrong turn and came under attack in 2003. She was rescued after nine days.

Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic/AP
Jessica Lynch is seen in 2007.

Former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch says it's good news that the U.S. military will now allow women to serve in combat roles.

Lynch was 19 when she was captured in Iraq after her Army unit took a wrong turn and came under attack in 2003. She was rescued after nine days.

Lynch urges Americans to push U.S. officials to ensure both male and female soldiers have proper training and equipment.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday announced the change, saying that allowing women to fill combat roles will strengthen the U.S. military's ability to win wars.

But military leaders must decide which, if any, jobs will still be open only to men.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.