Does The Army Like To Create Female Heroes?

Almost a week after the Fort Hood massacre that made police Sgt. Kimberly Munley a hero, the details of the ghastly shootout seem to only be getting more confusing. Kimberly might not actually have shot Nidal Malik Hasan four times while catching one of his bullets herself—the story that was presented the day after the shooting. An anonymous witness is now saying that police Senior Sgt. Mark Todd brought Major Terrifying down after Kimberly collapsed from gunshot wounds.

This is reminding many people of Jessica Lynch. A soldier in Iraq in 2003, Jessica was in an ambush. Initial reports said that she had taken several bullets while firing at the enemy, Rambo-style, but had still been taken prisoner. Only, it turned out that’s not quite what happened. Jessica was actually injured by the Humvee accident itself and was treated reasonably humanely in an Iraqi hospital. When Jessica finally had her say, the Army’s original version of the story seemed like a gross exaggeration. But when asked for comment, Jessica said, “If the stories about me helped inspire our troops and rally a nation, then perhaps there was some good.”

Sure sounds like the Army agrees with her. Do you think that the Army goes out of its way to create stories of female heroes? To what end? [New York Times]