First Sergeant Allen Lynch spoke at the National Infantry Museum on how he survived bullying as a kid, serving in Vietnam then battling post traumatic stress disorder. Lynch talks about this journey in his new book “Zero to Hero From Bullied Kid to Warrior.
“I volunteered for Vietnam because it was the event of my generation and I wanted to be part of it, but I also needed to prove to myself that I wasn’t a coward,” Lynch said.
Jessica Evans attended the lecture today. She even got her copy of the “Zero to Hero” book signed. Evans says she was excited to meet Lynch. She is in the middle of reading the book now and is already captivated by the message it sends to young kids like herself.
“Just talk to someone. Just make sure you don’t let words get to you and always look forward to the positive things in your life and look back at the negatives,” Evans said.
Lynch talked about growing up in Illinois during the lecture. He says he was the kid in the hallway that you probably would not recognize. He described himself as white paint….you see it, it’s there, but you don’t really recognize what it is. Lynch says that although he had a tough time in school, he did not let being bullied define who he was.
“Every negative experience in your life can grow you into a better person. Being bullied gave me a sense of compassion for people. It gave me a sense of perseverance. I learned how to adapt and overcome. I learned to become comfortable in my own skin,” Lynch said.
Lynch says that being bullied stole a part of his childhood. He says by joining the military and becoming a Medal of Honor recipient was a way of getting it back plus a little extra.
Lynch says he has no negative words to say to his bullies he just hopes they got over their harmful treatment to others.