Portrait Project


"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Mike Lynch

I never saw the rocket-propelled grenade that was meant to kill me that morning. I just heard it scream over my head and erupt in a deafening explosion behind me. The sights and sounds and smells of war were magnified in that instant: the blinding desert sun reflected off the gnarled pavement, the rattle of heavy machine-gun fire, the thick stench of gunpowder, sand, and sweat. Distant battlefields taught me a difficult lesson: Life is indeed wild, and equally as precious.

On September 16th, 2006 at a dirty, long-forgotten intersection in Tikrit, Iraq, I was given a second chance at this unpredictable and priceless journey. Unfortunately, many others – comrades, classmates, and friends – did not escape the battlefield unscathed. Today, thousands of Combat Veterans return home with life-altering injuries, both visible and invisible. After sacrificing so much for this country, this Band of Brothers deserves a commitment from the nation to assist them in their challenging post-war lives.

I want to earn my second chance at life by building and leading organizations that fulfill that commitment – the commitment to serve, support, and strengthen this generation of America's Wounded Warriors. I will create opportunities to employ, mentor, and champion our wounded comrades so that they can provide for their families, contribute to their communities, and hold their heads high with dignity long after they return from the front line. More importantly, I will work to increase public awareness of both their incredible feats of bravery in battle, and their pressing need for tangible support when they return home. In doing so, I will strive to strengthen the critical bond of trust and assurance between the American civilian and the American serviceman to ensure that future generations of Americans can serve their country with confidence, knowing that a grateful nation stands ready to assist them in their time of need. With the sacrifice of America's Wounded Warriors in the forefront of my mind, I will live out my days upholding, promoting, and defending the very principles for which we all fought: Duty, Honor, Country.

— Mike Lynch