I couldn't let March slip away without remembering Jessica Lynch. Her abbreviated story follows.
At age 18, Jessica entered the United States Army in the summer of 2001. She and her older brother signed on at about the same time, thinking they could save their parents the expense of paying for college.
In August 2001, her brother left home for basic training. But before she was able to leave, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, occurred. Later, she was processed through training and was deployed to the Middle East in February 2003.
Then, on March 19, 2003, President George W. Bush declared war on Iraq, and four days later, Lynch was part of a military convoy that was ambushed. She was seriously injured and captured by the Iraqis; the other soldiers in her vehicle, including her best friend Lori Piestewa, were killed.
Lynch remembers some of terrifying experiences in an Iraqi hospital, including a trip to the operating room where she believed her leg would be amputated. She described being held for days as a POW without food or water.
Then, on April 1, 2003, Lynch began to hear the sounds of combat and approaching vehicles. She believed American forces did not know she was in the building where she was being held and planned to bomb it. She heard men enter the building and became even more frightened when she heard one call out, “Where’s Private Lynch?”
The next thing she knew, men were all around her, though she remained unable to move on her bed. She said one of the men pulled an American flag out of his uniform and handed it to her, saying, “We’re American soldiers, and we’re here to take you home.”
Lynch said she replied “I’m an American soldier, too.”
Lynch has endured multiple surgeries to repair her many injuries, and she still wears a brace on one foot. But she completed physical therapy, went on to college and obtained a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from West Virginia University as well as a master’s degree in communications studies. When she isn’t speaking about her time as a POW, she works as a substitute teacher and spends time with her daughter.
Welcome home Jessica, and thank you for your service.
The main purpose of this blog is to bring awareness to America's missing from past wars and conflicts either as a Prisoner of War, or Missing in Action. We also include Contractors, Law Enforcement Officers and civilians being held in known terrorist countries.
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