Jessica Lynch, the former Iraq Prisoner Of War (POW), who joined the Army a decade ago to pay for college, is about to graduate from West Virginia University, (WVU).
Lynch, a native of rural Wirt County W.Va., entered college in hopes of teaching kindergarten. Tomorrow, Dec. 16, her hopes will come true when she receives her degree in education.
“I worked so hard to get to this point and it’s finally here,” Jessica said. “It hasn’t always been easy. There have definitely been ups and downs.”
On March 23, 2003, Lynch became a POW when her convoy of the United States Army’s 507th Maintenance Company and the 3rd Combat Support BN elements, led by a Humvee driven by Lori Piestewa, made a wrong turn and were ambushed near Nasiriyah, a major crossing point over the Euphrates northwest of Basra.
The convoy was supposed to detour around the town and instead turned directly into it, eventually running into an ambush.
Jessica, a private first class, was part of a convoy of the 507th Maintenance Company, which was ambushed near Nasiriyah March 23, 2003, after taking a wrong turn and wrecking.
Eleven soldiers died in the attack. U.S. forces rescued Lynch April 1, 2003, at a Nasiriyah hospital.
Lynch’s spine was broken in two places, her left leg was shattered above and below the knee, causing nerve damage that left her with no feeling in the leg, and her right arm was shattered between her shoulder and elbow.
In the past eight years, Jessica has had 21 surgeries and has participated in physical therapy while studying at WVU since 2006.
Jessica Lynch, who has been a student teacher for first and fifth graders the past five months, will be the first in her family to graduate from college and plans to go to graduate school at WVU, Parkersburg, in the fall.