• July 29, 2014

A Commander’s Return: Old friends, others greet ex-Fort Hood commander

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 10:35 pm, Wed Nov 27, 2013.

HARKER HEIGHTS — Those who came to visit Rick and Sarah Lynch on Wednesday ranged from former mayors to area businessmen to childhood friends.

Already in town from Dallas for the holidays, the former III Corps and Fort Hood commander and his wife stopped by Union State Bank in Harker Heights to sign copies of Rick Lynch’s book, “Adapt or Die: Leadership Principles from an American General.”

The retired three-star general’s tank master gunner from 1993 even stopped by, he said.

“This place is so important to us,” Rick Lynch said.

Sarah Lynch grew up in Killeen, and her childhood friend Liz Cruddas stopped in to say hi and get a book signed.

“It’s impressive. He is who he is and still very down to earth. They’re just regular people,” Cruddas said.

Since retiring in 2011, Rick Lynch became the executive director of the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, where research is underway on robotics to help people with disabilities.

Some of that research may be used in the couple’s charity work with H-E-B’s Operation Finally Home, which plans to build two homes for disabled veterans in San Antonio.

Former Killeen mayor and Army retiree Tim Hancock was one of the first in line at the bank to meet the former general. The two worked together as they led Fort Hood and Killeen, and Hancock said he admires him.

“I came out because, not only did I enjoy working with him, I respect him. I respect his ideas and I respect his leadership,” he said. “He always gave me good, sound advice.”

Colleen Beck, president of the bank, said she was happy to host the general for the event.

“He’s been such an inspiring person and he spoke at the dedication of the gate to my dad (Bernie Beck),” she said.

One of Beck’s favorite sayings of Rick Lynch’s — which he mentioned at the gate dedication — was to ask, “How are you living your dash?”

On Wednesday, she asked him to describe this again.

The dash, he said, refers to the one on a person’s tombstone between their birth and death date.

People should live their lives to the fullest, he said.

“How many people do you touch when you live your dash?” Rick Lynch said. “Every day, think about your service to others and living for others.”

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