In a hospital inundated with war casualties with few drugs, her condition was stabilised and she regained consciousness. After the war, footage was discovered of both Lynch and Piestewa (in the footage, the latter was still alive) at an Iraqi hospital. ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. reported that Lynch and her then-boyfriend Wes Robinson would have their first child in January. [1][28][29], Soon after Lynch was rescued, Pentagon officials disputed a report appearing in the Washington Post that Lynch had fought back, and the first official report of Lynch's actions during her capture released by the Pentagon weeks later said that she did not appear to have fought back against her captors, in contradiction of earlier Pentagon press releases. She suffered from post-traumatic stress. Play it now. The convoy was supposed to detour around the town but instead turned directly into it, eventually running into an ambush. [10] Allegedly, al Rehaief returned to the checkpoint with five different maps of the hospital and the details of the security layout, reaction plan, and shift changes. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. That's what Richard Lloyd Parry in al-Nasiriyah asked. Lynch was released from the hospital on July 22, more than three months after her injury. People like Lori Piestewa and First Sergeant Dowdy who picked up fellow soldiers in harm's way. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. On April 1 the local Baathists fled al-Nasiriyah for Baghdad and arrived at the hospital looking for their prize captive. Barreras. In a statement, Representative Ron Barber, (D-Tucson), called Barreras a brave member of the United States Army. On May 6, 2006, Allison Barker of the Associated Press reported that Lynch, who had completed her freshman year, avoided talking about her military service at school, despite wearing a brace on her left foot protecting nerve damage from her capture: "I think people recognize who I am; they just don't make it obvious. Her family could not afford to send her to college; her older brother had to drop out due to financial reasons. Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information. Command Sgt. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, I decided I must go to tell the Americans. Al-Houssona's account of events was later confirmed in a U.S. Army report leaked on July 10, 2003. Reform Committee,, Logistics personnel of the United States military, West Virginia University at Parkersburg alumni, BLP articles lacking sources from June 2014, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2017, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. James Thibeault of West Virginia founded Friends of Mohammad, an organization based in Lynch's hometown of Palestine. And that's the last I remember. And this goes especially for the Media as well. Four doctors and two patients, one of whom was paralysed and on an intravenous drip, were bound and handcuffed as American soldiers rampaged through the wards, searching for departed members of the Saddam regime. [16], Iraqi doctors and nurses later interviewed, including Harith Al-Houssona, a doctor in the Nasiriyah hospital, described Lynch's injuries as "a broken arm, a broken thigh, and a dislocated ankle". Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Jessica Lynch, reading a statement after arriving in Elizabeth, West Virginia yesterday. Interviewed by Diane Sawyer, Lynch claimed, concerning the media and the Pentagon: "They used me to symbolize all this stuff. Lynch's best friend, Lori Piestewa, received a serious head wound and died in an Iraqi civilian hospital. Lynch was severely injured. “When he came back, he was black.”. 'Command Sgt. But she was very, very nice, with a lovely face and blonde hair.”. After talking with the Marines, al Rehaief was then sent back to the hospital to gather more information, which was used to plan Lynch’s rescue. © Copyright 2020 ShadowSpear Special Operations, All Rights Reserved. al Rehaief was reportedly paid for his services. I decided I must go to tell the Americans.”. She’s a very simple person, a soldier, not well-educated. Our Daily Digest brings Democracy Now! While recovering in Washington, Lynch was inundated with gifts and flowers from well-wishers, so much so that she asked the public to send cards instead. Dr Harith was on duty when Private Lynch was brought to al-Nasiriyah general by Iraqi soldiers a few days after her capture on March 23. Her best friend, Lori Piestewa, was seriously wounded in the head and died in an Iraqi civilian hospital, possibly because it was not possible to perform delicate neurosurgery in that hospital under wartime conditions (such as intermittent electrical power). Soon after her return, Lynch and Contreras separated.[24]. [5] The convoy was supposed to detour around the town but instead turned directly into it, eventually running into an ambush. He had suffered wounds earlier this month when his unit was attacked by enemy forces with small arms fire in Herat Province, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said. Jessica Lynch", "Context of 'July 21, 2003: Jessica Lynch Awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart, "A Broken Body, A Broken Story, Pieced Together", "Former POW Jessica Lynch Recalls Her Captivity in Iraq", "Lynch: Military played up rescue too much", "A case of race? His colleague, Lt. Col. Edward Brady told The Army Times: 'Command Sgt. After al Rehaief came forward and confirmed Lynch’s location, officials with the Defense Intelligence Agency equipped and trained an unnamed person, possibly al Rehaief, alternatively listed as an Iraqi informant and as a Central Intelligence Agency agent, with a concealed video camera. So who really did save Private Jessica? [36], She began her testimony by noting for the record that her appearance was not politically motivated. We do not accept funding from advertising, underwriting or government agencies. Some 5th graders know her as Miss Lynch, but all of America remembers her as Private Jessica Lynch. The hospital was bombarded and soldiers arrived in helicopters and, according to the hospital doctors, in tanks that pulled up outside the hospital. Jessica Lynch, then a supply clerk with the 507th Maintenance Company (based in Fort Bliss, Texas), was wounded and captured by Iraqi forces. "[32], She did not claim that she fought until being wounded, but she did say her weapon jammed immediately and that she could not have done anything anyway. On April 12, 2003, Lynch was flown to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to undergo specialized treatment and rehabilitation. Iraqi hospital staff, including doctors Harith Al-Houssona and Anmar Uday, said they shielded Lynch from Iraqi military and government agents who were using the hospital as a base of military operations. U.S. Army soldier and POW Jessica Lynch, 19, a member of the 507th Maintenance Company, arrives on April 3 on a stretcher at the Ramstein US Air Base in Germany after her dramatic rescue in Iraq, Jessica Lynch, seen in this undated photo, was captured in 2003 when her convoy was ambushed in Iraq (left). Many military and Special Operations Forces experts have defended the tactics of the operators who led the raid, saying that Special Operations Forces teams are trained to expect the worst and move quickly, initially treating each person they encounter as a possible threat. Today, the hospital struggles on without adequate supplies of drugs and without running water or mains electricity. ", Critics have also accused the media of bias in the coverage of Lynch versus that of her fellow soldiers, Shoshana Johnson and Lori Piestewa. When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed. An ambulance driver who tried to carry Private Lynch to the American forces close to the city was shot at by US troops the day before their mission. [11] Lynch's own story concurs with these accounts, saying that she was treated humanely, with a nurse even singing to her. Lynch, of Palestine, W.Va., worked as a supply clerk with the Army's 507th Maintenance Co. As far as "Critics" goes, I know exactly what she's going through. -Heraclitus. That night, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and other commandos helicoptered to the hospital while troops engaged Iraqi soldiers in another part of the city. “When he left his skin was the colour of yours,” another doctor, Mahmud, said. Eleven other soldiers in the company were killed in the ambush. delivered to your inbox every day? According to one former Pentagon official, the stories of her supposed heroics that day were spread by the news media, and Congressmen from West Virginia were instrumental in pushing the Pentagon to award her honors based on reports of her actions during her capture. The soldier from West Virginia, who looked even younger than her 19 years, captured hearts all around the world. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Her statements tended to be sharply critical of the original story that was reported by the Washington Post. However, hospital personnel later confirmed only part of al Rehaief's story, indicating that while al Rehaief had indeed visited the hospital, his wife was not a nurse there, nor was there any nurse by the name of Iman working there. [18] However, the Iraqi doctors who rescued and treated her reject this claim and found no evidence of sexual assault. Al-Rehaief was granted asylum (search) Monday in Arlington, Va., which allows him to work in this country. Maj. Martin R Barreras died on Tuesday in San Antonio Military Medical Center, officials said. According to al Rehaief's version of the events leading up to Lynch's rescue, he walked six miles to a US Marine checkpoint to inform American forces that he knew where Lynch was being held. I want people to remember me as being a soldier who went over there and did my job. “They said that they thought Jessica had died, and they didn’t know where she was,” he said. “We heard them firing and shouting: ‘Go! Apparently, the convoy took more than one wrong turn. Upon her return she was greeted by thousands of West Virginia residents and by then-fiancé Army Sergeant Ruben Contreras. Prior to Tuesday, he was referred to only as "Mohammed" in order to protect the safety of himself and his family while they were still in Iraq. Five other soldiers were captured and subsequently rescued 21 days later. [40], On December 16, 2011, Lynch, then 28, received her education degree from West Virginia University at Parkersburg, after completing her student-teacher training at the same elementary school she had attended, in Wirt County, West Virginia. “But when he reached their checkpoint, the Americans fired at him,” he said. Private First Class Lynch was seriously injured and captured when her convoy was ambushed by Iraqi forces. 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