By Leigh Tauss Record-Journal staff
MERIDEN – Navy Veteran Ed Lynch, 77, remembers being strapped to the side of a ship during a hurricane as water surged onto the deck. Waves ripped away lifeboats and punched the side of the ship so hard they left a large dent.
“I was young and stupid and thought it was fantastic,” Lynch said.
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty honored Lynch Thursday morning at the Meriden Senior Center, surrounded by his brothers from the Antique Veterans of Meriden, with two medals and two ribbons for his service. Esty said the cause was close to her heart because, like Lynch, her father was a civil engineer with the Navy.
Esty aided 20 veterans so far in receiving medals for service. Her officials work to verify the veteran’s service and complete the necessary paperwork. Esty said many veterans feel reluctant to ask for help. Family members often come to her for assistance.
Lynch appreciated Esty taking the time to recognize his service and the service of other veterans.
“It’s an honor,” Lynch said. “It’s overwhelming, that someone would take the time to do this for us.”
Lynch received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy “E” Ribbon and the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon. He served in the Navy from 1956 to 1960 and in the Navy Reserve from 1981 to 1992.
He joked that it was ironic to receive the award for good conduct.
“I guess I didn’t get caught,” he said laughing.
A kid at heart, Lynch said it is rare for him to be in the spotlight for positive reasons.
“The only time I get this much attention is when I’m in trouble,” Lynch said beaming a mischievous smile.