Jessica Lynch, now 29, became a household name in 2003 when she became the first American POW to be rescued since the Vietnam War. The Army private and her 507th Maintenance Company were ambushed in Nasiriya only days into the Iraq War, and she was captured and held by Iraqi soldiers at a hospital there before being rescued by U.S. Special Forces troops who stormed the facility. Lynch is now a mother, teacher and motivational speaker in her hometown of Charleston, West Virginia, and is working on a master’s degree. This morning on NBC's Today, Lynch spoke about her experiences ten years ago in Iraq.
During the 90-minute firefight in Nasiriya in which she was captured, 11 members of her company were killed. One of them was her best friend, Lori Piestewa, Hopi, who was taken to the Iraqi hospital with Lynch after being captured and died on the bed next to her.
“It’s so hard to continue every day knowing that Lori didn’t make it home with me,’’ Lynch said. “The reason that she went over there was to be with me and our other comrades, and sadly she didn’t get to come back home, so [I’m] just having to deal with the fact that my best friend didn’t get to come back and I did. She had two beautiful kids. It’s just really hard to know they’re going to have to grow up without their mom."
Watch the full interview here: