June 21, 2004 – Pfc. Jason Lynch, 21, son of Paula Pemberton Lynch and Hubert Lynch of St. Croix, was killed by small arms fire Friday evening while on duty in Baghdad.
He is the second Virgin Islander to die in Iraq. Staff Sgt. Kendall Thomas died on April 28.
Lynch had been in the Army 11 months.
Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, in his capacity as acting governor, was told the details of Lynch's death by Adj. Gen. Cleave McBean on Saturday.
In a press release Richards stated "We are deeply saddened by the passing of one so young as Jason Lynch, and extend our heartfelt condolences to family, friends and loved ones."
He added, "Everyone in the territory mourns his untimely death and sorrowfully offers our gratitude for his unselfish service to the territory and the nation He will always be held in the very highest esteem for his bravery and commitment to fighting for freedom and democracy against terrorist forces. Jason Lynch paid the ultimate sacrifice by his death so that all people around the world could live in peace and freedom."
In the conclusion of the press release, Richards said he prays that there will be no more lives lost in Iraq.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in a separate release issued on Monday, said that Lynch "represents the best of all of us, for he accepted as his duty love of country and the willingness to die to preserve and protect the ideals of civility and human liberty which are being tested like never before in the Persian Gulf."
The release stated that Turnbull, from Washington, D.C., telephoned Lynch's mother to convey his condolences.
(Delegate Donna M. Christensen, in a release issued on Tuesday, said that Lynch "gave his life to protect the freedoms that we all enjoy." She added: "We greatly value his service and his ultimate sacrifice and pledge in his name, and those of the other Virgin Islands lives that have been lost, to work for the day that the prophet Isaiah spoke of, when "nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they study war any more.")
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