Ex-POW Lynch Set for Treatment in D.C.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Jessica Lynch is resting at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where the former POW will undergo specialized treatment for the multiple injuries she suffered in Iraq.
The Army’s premier medical facility planned to discuss Lynch’s condition and treatment at a news conference Sunday.
The private first class from Palestine, W.Va., 19, was rescued from an Iraqi hospital by U.S. forces in a daring commando raid April 1 and transferred the next day to a hospital in Germany.
Lynch, immediate family members and some four dozen other wounded soldiers were flown to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Saturday.
Her family said in a written statement that Lynch ``is in pain, but she is in good spirits. Although she faces a lengthy rehabilitation, she is tough. We believe she will regain her strength soon.″
Lynch was treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for a head wound, a spinal injury, fractures to her right arm, both legs, and her right foot and ankle. Gunshots may have caused open fractures on her upper right arm and lower left leg, according to the hospital.
The supply clerk was captured March 23 after her 507th Maintenance Company convoy was ambushed in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. She was rescued from an Iraqi hospital in the city April 1 by U.S. commandos, reportedly after a tip from an Iraqi lawyer.
When U.S. commandos staged their daring rescue in Nasiriyah, they found a frightened woman who hid under a sheet when they stormed into her hospital room.
``Jessica Lynch,″ called out an American soldier, approaching her bed. ``We are United States soldiers and we’re here to protect you and take you home,″ a Central Command spokesman told reporters after the raid.
Peering from behind the sheet as he removed his helmet, she looked up and said, ``I’m an American soldier, too.″
More than 500 residents and friends attended a dinner and auction near Elizabeth, W.Va., on Saturday night that raised over $12,000 for the Lynch family.
Nearly 100 people crowded around a small television to watch Lynch’s aircraft land, before breaking into simultaneous cheers and tears of joy and singing ``God Bless America,″ event organizer Debbie Hennen said.
Residents in a Charleston, W.Va., suburb have said they are trying to locate the Iraqi lawyer, known as Mohammed. Although his role has not been confirmed by the U.S. military, a ``Friends of Mohammed″ organization has been formed in the state.
Nine other members of the 507th Maintenance Company were killed in the ambush and were posthumously awarded Purple Hearts.