|Today marks the third anniversary of the dramatic rescue of Wirt County native Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital during the early days of the Iraq War.|
The 19-year-old supply clerk from Palestine was captured in an ambush in the town of Ah Nasaria when her convoy fell behind and then took a wrong turn while trying to catch up with the Third Infantry as they moved across the desert.
She was held captive for nine days before U.S. Special Forces raided the hospital and brought her out.
The bodies of several of Lynch's comrades were found buried in the hospital courtyard.
A prayer vigil had been held in front of the Wirt County courthouse, drawing several hundred folks lighting candles and praying for her safe return.
See Prayers Lifted At Wirt Courthouse
The word reached the Lynch home in Palestine and more than 30 people in the living room at the time erupted in celebration.
Throughout the night in Elizabeth, sirens wailed and people rejoiced in the streets until the early hours of the morning.
Following press releases regarding Lynch's heroics, Lynch herself said her M16 jammed during the firefight, and she never fired a single shot.
Lynch spent several weeks in a military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany before returning to the United States.
Following several months of rehab at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, there was a homecoming celebration in Elizabeth where literally thousands turned out for a parade that was broadcast on television worldwide.
Lynch is nearing the end of her freshman year at West Virginia University.
JESSICA IS ALIVE! - This Is A Miracle"
Republished from (04/01/2003 Hur Herald)
7:15 PM EST - Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, from Palestine, Wirt County, West Virginia is alive! Her father Greg Lynch said "This is a miracle!"
CNN reported Jessica has been suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, but is in stable condition.
Lynch, one of America's first captured soldiers in the Iraqi war has been rescued by coalition forces, according to an announcement at 3:30 a.m Iraqi time.
She was taken March 23rd when part of her unit reportedly took a wrong turn into enemy forces.
Media sources said her rescue was a covert operation by "Army Rangers and Seals," who "got a read" on her whereabouts in the past 48-hours.
A Fox News reporter said Greg Lynch was in tears moments ago, after the U. S. Army broke the news to his family.
Lynch said she was safe and sound, in good spirits.
One report said she was "getting treatment from a doctor," when she was rescued, yet to be confirmed.
Military rescuers got the word to "go in" at 4 p.m. Iraqi time.
Thousands of prayers have been lifted for her safe return, including a Prayer Vigil held last Tuesday night in Elizabeth, hundreds gathering in front of the Wirt Courthouse.
Lynch is being moved to an air base in Germany.
There was no word on other missing soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company from Ft. Bliss,Texas, at least two of which were killed.
Ken Heiney, principal of Wirt High, said he was in a meeting with school board members when his wife threw the door open and said "They have found Jessica."
Faces of War