Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient and author, Allen J. Lynch, will sign and personalize copies of his newly released memoir, ZERO TO HERO: From Bullied Kid to Warrior, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 6, at Limestone Coffee & Tea, 8 W. Wilson St. in Batavia. In support of the Batavia Flag Day Monument project, copies of Lynch’s book, which retails for $25, will be free to purchasers of inscribed, monument paver bricks priced between $150 and $500.
Published in March by the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, in ZERO TO HERO: From Bullied Kid to Warrior (ISBN 978-0-9989689-2-6) Lynch relates six life lessons he arrived at through his journey from the South Side of Chicago through the Battle of Tam Quan in the Central Highlands of Vietnam where his actions earned him the Medal of Honor, to his return home, working at the Chicago Veterans Affairs Regional Office as a Veterans Benefits Counselor while also dealing with his own post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lynch also serves on the board of the Fox Valley Patriotic Organization, the engine behind the Flag Day Monument in Batavia.
“The idea for the monument grew out of a conversation about how we could honor the area’s deep connection to the history of Flag Day through Dr. Bernard Cigrand, a Batavian who appealed to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to establish the holiday in 1916,” said Austin Dempsey, FVPO president. “Beyond the pure beauty of the piece, it will be a functional, interactive learning tool.”
Designed by architect Steve Vasilion of Batavia, the monument is a combination of architectural elements that unfold both to tell the story of the American Flag and to mark the historic milestones that unite Americans under the flag. The flagpole itself will serve as a sundial marking such celebrated events as the first moon landing along with national tragedies, such as 9-11, by date and time as it shines along the 40-foot diameter brick helix. It is surrounded by more than 10,000 bricks of varying size which can be purchased and engraved.
“We are grateful to Allen for his participation on our board, his support through this event and, of course, his service in Vietnam and to veterans throughout his adult life,” said Dempsey. “We are thrilled to include ZERO TO HERO: From Bullied Kid to Warrior in brick purchases at this event.
“It’s a story that is meaningful across generations and as relevant to today’s youth as it was to Allen in the 1950s”.
CITYGATE is a veteran-owned property. Owner John P. Calamos, Sr., is a Vietnam combat veteran and supports several local veteran support organizations including the SEALs Future Foundation and Operation Support Our Troops-America.
Book signing will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and free copies of FROM ZERO TO HERO will be available to the first 100 commemorative brick purchasers attending the July 6 event. To learn more about the Flag Day Monument and inscribed bricks, visit the Flag Day Monument website.