Search  
Click Here!    
Good Morning America World News Tonight 20/20 Primetime Nightline WNN This Week
April 1, 2003
 
HOMEPAGE
NEWS SUMMARY
US
INTERNATIONAL
MONEYScope
WEATHER
LOCAL NEWS
ENTERTAINMENT
ESPN SPORTS
SCI / TECH
POLITICS
HEALTH
TRAVEL
FEATURED SERVICES
RELATIONSHIPS
SHOPPING
DOWNLOADS
WIRELESS
INTERACT
VIDEO & AUDIO
BOARDS
CHAT
NEWS ALERTS
CONTACT ABC
ABCNEWS.com


(AP Photo)
POW's Family Rejoices With Word of Rescue
POW Jessica Lynch's Family Rejoices With Word of Her Rescue in Iraq

The Associated Press


Print This Page
Email This Page
See Most Sent
The Do's and Don'ts of Chemical Weapons
Portable 'Javelin' Give Soldiers Extra Edge
Tips on How You Can Save Money at Tax Time
PALESTINE, W.Va. April 1

Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch's family rejoiced Tuesday at word of her rescue as well-wishers packed their house and police and fire sirens blared in celebration.

"They said it was going to be the biggest party this road had ever seen," Lynch's cousin Sherri McFee said.

More than 70 people gathered at Lynch's parents' home in Palestine after the Pentagon announced Tuesday night that the 19-year-old supply clerk had been rescued, more than a week after she and other members of her maintenance unit were captured in Iraq.

Central Command officials in Qatar, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital.

"The military notified me that my daughter was rescued," Greg Lynch, father of Jessica Lynch, told the El Paso Times in a phone interview. "I am very happy."

"You would not believe the joys, cries, bawling, hugging, screaming, carrying on," Lynch's cousin Pam Nicolais said. "You just have to be here."

The family expected to receive a telephone call from Lynch Tuesday night, Lynch's cousin Terri Edwards said.

Lynch was among the soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company who were ambushed March 23 near Nasiriyah, a major crossing point over the Euphrates northwest of Basra. Five members of the 507th were shown on Iraqi television as prisoners being questioned, but Lynch was not one of those pictured.

"Everybody was really worried, normal concerns and everything like that. But we all remained hopeful and knew she would be home," McFee said.

"It just shows that miracles can happen," said Gov. Bob Wise, who promised "one of the greatest homecomings this state has ever seen."

Relatives of several other missing and captured members of the 507th said Tuesday night they had received no news, but some said Lynch's rescue renewed their optimism.

"It gives me hope," said Jack Dowdy, father of missing Master Sgt. Robert J. Dowdy, 38, of Cleveland. "I'm just sitting here hoping if they find one maybe they will find some more."

"They just need to send some more Navy SEALs in," said Natalie Hudson, wife of Army Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23.

Lynch's rescue relieved the farming community of Palestine, about 70 miles north of Charleston, and the entire state.

"God watched over Jessica and her family. All West Virginians are rejoicing," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. "This is a testament to the amazing skill and courage of our military."

Lynch is known for her smile and her laugh. Friends and family call her Jesse. She's "every mother's dream of a teenager daughter," said Lorene Cumbridge, a cousin.

"She's just a West Virginia country girl. Warm-hearted. Outgoing," said Cumbridge, 62.

Lynch's goal is to be a teacher. But she joined the Army to get an education and because it was one of the few opportunities available in a farming community with an unemployment rate of 15 percent one of the highest in West Virginia.

Her older brother, Gregory, is a member of the National Guard based in Fort Bragg, N.C. Jessica enlisted through the Army's delayed-entry program before graduating from Wirt County High School in Elizabeth.

Before she left for the military, family friends Glenda and Don Nelson talked with her about the danger she would face.

"She said 'I've been trained and I'm ready to go,'" Don Nelson said.

"She's everyone's baby," he said. "She loved her country too and was ready to serve it. That is what my country wants, kids like her. She is a true hero in my eyes."


photo credit and caption:
Jessica Lynch, shown in this Sept. 2000 photo, one of several soldiers who went missing after their supply convoy was ambushed in southern Iraq, March 24, 2003 was rescued, the Pentagon confirmed early Wednesday, April 1, 2003. Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va., worked as a supply clerk with the Army's 507th Maintenance Co. (AP Photo/Family Handout)

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
Click Here!
  RELATED STORIES
International Index
More Raw News
 
 INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES
U.S. Attacks on 100-Mile Iraqi Front
Why Better Firepower Flops in Urban Combat
Among U.S. Allies, Popular Support Often Weak
Saudi Leader Criticizes Bush, Saddam
Iraq War Raises Suspicion of New 'Crusade'

 


Copyright 2003 ABCNEWS Internet Ventures.
Click here for:  HELP   ADVERTISER INFO   CONTACT ABC   TOOLS   PR   TERMS OF USE   PRIVACY POLICY

Family of sites:      ABC.com        ABC Family        ESPN.com        Disney.com        FamilyFun.com        GO Mail        Movies.com