The Silver Star
Stephen W. Lynch from Newark, Arkansas was a distinguished military graduate from Arkansas State University in May 1969 with a B.S. in chemistry, and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He rapidly rose in rank and was a captain when killed in action, 9 June 1972, in Vietnam. Previous to his death, Captain Lynch received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal. For gallantry in combat military action, he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.
On 9 June 1972, Captain Stephen W. Lynch was serving as an advisor to the 1st Battalion, 15th Regiment attached to the 21st Infantry Division, Army of the Republic of Vietnam. The 1st Battalion was part of an infantry and armor task force on an offensive operation north of Tan Khai, against a well entrenched North Vietnam Army battalion. While accompanying the task force commander aboard an armored personnel carrier, Captain Lynch fearlessly faced exposure to intense enemy mortar fire, to control close-in tactical air strikes, supporting advancing friendly forces. Without regard to his own safety, he repeatedly moved, under fire, to locations to best direct artillery and air strikes. Throughout the battle, he actively and aggressively advised his counterpart on maximum use of firepower and defensive positions development. Captain Lynch's bravery and personal sacrifice in the face of enemy fire inspired the Army of the Republic of Vietnam to successfully inflict numerous enemy losses