Community support has always been vital to the Third ID and Wednesday, the division's commander met with community leaders to let them know he doesn't take that for granted.
"We need the love and care," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch. "We need people to stop soldiers and their family members and tell them thank you."
WTOC's vice president and Gen. manager Bill Cathcart had the honor of introducing the well-respected commander at a breakfast event at Savannah Technical College. After he asked the audience to "give a nice Savannah welcome to our very special guest," the crowd gave the Gen. a standing ovation as he approached the stage.
Gen. Lynch told those gathered that his soldiers are ready for battle, that they believe in their mission, and have confidence in their leaders. "We're proud to go and fight our nation's war, that's what we signed up for," he said.
Gen. Lynch also shared a personal story about a night he and his wife went to dinner and a complete stranger picked up their tab. "The family, who clearly wasn't a wealthy family--it was a husband, a wife, a couple of kids--but what they wanted to do for this soldier...they didn't care I was a general, they wanted to tell us thanks," he said.
It was a story that resonated with many people at today's breakfast. Dr. CB Rathburn, president of Savannah Tech, said, "Every single person needs to step up. Simple things like helping folks where their car is broken or helping folks get their yards mowed."
Savannah resident Dick Eckberg has been doing that for years, silently helping soldiers and their families. "They cry, they hug us and they're grateful," Eckberg tearfully said.
Gen. Lynch does more than lead his men and women into combat. He also honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. "We've lost two soldiers in combat operations over the last 30 days," he said. "We honor their memory all the time. We think about them all the time. I carry next to my heart their pictures and biographies."
Gen. Lynch said he and his soldiers are going to continue to fight our nation's war, and knowing the support back home is strong will give them more strength.