First female prisoner of war to be rescued since World War II
Private First Class of the 507th Maintenance Company in the United States Army, Quartermaster Corps from 2001 – 2003
Took part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Prisoner of War Medal
Bachelors of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Masters Degree in Communications from West Virginia University
Mother of one daughter
Iraq War POW Jessica Lynch is Unapologetic About Faith
The 700 Club
From a young age, Jessica dreamed of being a kindergarten teacher but paying for college was financially difficult. In order to help pay for her education and for other opportunities, she enlisted in the United States Army and became a unit supply specialist. Jessica did not expect to go to war but the terrorist attack on 9/11 changed everything. She was shipped off to war in Iraq, slated to be there for nine months. While traveling by convoy in Iraq, Jessica’s group was separated and lost. They accidentally entered the battle ready city of Nazaria and were ambushed by Iraqi forces. They fought back but were hugely outnumbered so they desperately tried to escape the city. The Iraqi forces blocked their exit with a vehicle and an Iraqi shot a rocket-propelled grenade at the fleeing Humvee Jessica was in. The explosion launched her Humvee into another vehicle, knocking her unconscious and severely wounding her.
PRISONER OF WAR
Jessica awoke in an Iraqi hospital being treated for her wounds. She had a fractured spine, shattered right arm, and a broken left leg. For unknown reasons, Jessica was kept alive and the Iraqi doctors worked hard to save her fragile life. Jessica was held captive for nine days and came close to dying but clung to God. She says regarding her relationship with God, “I think the strongest was when I was in captivity because I had no one but myself to rely on. Talking to God was my way of getting myself through that ordeal.” As the war closed in on the city of Nazaria, the doctors put her in an ambulance and tried to return her to American soldiers but when they approached they were assumed as Iraqi forces and fired upon. The doctors were forced to bring her back to the hospital but another Iraqi informed of Jessica’s location to American soldiers. The American Special Forces organized a plan, infiltrated the hospital, and successfully rescued Jessica Lynch.
Upon Jessica’s return, the military kept her from watching the TV and the Internet to protect her and allow her to focus on her health. Meanwhile there were many different stories circulating regarding what happened during her prisoner of war experience. Some said she was tortured, others that she killed several Iraqis before being captured, and others that she was sexually abused. The different fabricated stories stirred up a hornet’s nest with Americans. Jessica said that for every five supporters who would say that she was a miracle and that God has a plan for her, she would encounter one person who would wish that she would have died or accuse her of lying about her story. Words hurt her, especially in the beginning. Now, she is to the point that she doesn’t focus on what others say. The more she has turned to God the more relaxed she became in her own body. She was honorably discharged in 2003. Soon after, I Am a Soldier, Too, her personal account of her experience, was released to clear up the misinformation. Then in 2007, Jessica set the record straight when she gave congressional testimony before the United States House Committee and Oversight and Government Reform that she was incorrectly portrayed her as a “Rambo from the hills of Virginia” when, in fact, she never fired a shot after her truck was ambushed.
VIRTUOUS FILM & CONFERENCE
Jessica recently appeared in a new film titled Virtuous. The film depicts several different female characters in harrowing situations that learn how to live righteously while remaining unapologetic in their beliefs. Jessica was part of an organization that put her in contact with Executive Producer Jason Campbell. She was intrigued with his previous film so they kept in contact. The opportunity came about for her to make an appearance in the film and be a speaker with a conference tour using the film. She took the opportunity and tours with the conference sharing her prisoner of war experience. The Virtuous film and women’s conference is currently touring.
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