Jessica Lynch Returns Home – HISTORY
On July 22, 2003, US Army Soldier Jessica Lynch, a prisoner of war who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, receives a hero’s welcome upon her return to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia. The story of the 19-year-old supply clerk, who was captured by Iraqi forces in March 2003, gripped America; however, it was later revealed that some details of Lynch’s dramatic capture and rescue might have been overstated.
Lynch, born April 26, 1983, was with the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company of Fort Bliss, Texas. On March 23, 2003, just days after the United States invaded Iraq, Lynch was riding a supply convoy when his unit took a wrong turn and was ambushed by Iraqi forces near Nasiriya. . Eleven American soldiers died and four more in addition to Lynch were captured.
Lynch, who suffered multiple fractures and other injuries when her vehicle crashed during the ambush, was taken to an Iraqi hospital. On April 1, she was rescued by US special forces who attacked the hospital where she was being held. They also recovered the bodies of eight of Lynch’s fellow soldiers. Lynch was taken to a military hospital in Germany for treatment and then returned to the United States.
Lynch’s story garnered media attention and she became an overnight celebrity. Various reports have emerged about Lynch’s experience, with some accounts indicating that even after Lynch was injured in the ambush, she fought back against her captors. However, Lynch later said that she was knocked out after her vehicle crashed and that she couldn’t remember the details of what happened to her. She also said that she had not been mistreated by the Iraqi hospital staff and that they had not put up any resistance to her rescue. Critics – and Lynch herself – have tasked the U.S. government with embellishing its history to bolster patriotism and help promote the war in Iraq.
In August 2003, Lynch received an honorable medical discharge. She collaborated on a book about her experience, I too am a soldier: the story of Jessica Lynch, which was released later that year. In April 2007, Lynch testified before Congress that she had been wrongly portrayed as a “little Rambo girl” and that the United States military had promoted her story for propaganda reasons. According to Lynch: “I still don’t understand why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroes of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary. She added: “The truth of war is not always easy to hear but is always more heroic than the hype.”
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