Friday, Mar. 19, 2010

November 2003
Jessica Lynch Speaks

"I think it was the Army looking for a hero."

—a senior military official discussing Jessica Lynch, as quoted in TIME

A little more than seven months after being rescued and turned into an icon of American wartime sacrifice and bravery, the inspiring true story and troubling myth built around Private Jessica Lynch reach their conclusion in November with the airing of an NBC made-for-TV movie and the publication of Lynch's memoir. A supply clerk with the 507th Maintenance Company, Lynch became a prisoner of war on March 23 after her convoy got lost and came under fire and the Humvee she was riding in crashed. With the aid of shadowy night footage from her April 1 rescue, Lynch was almost immediately turned into a symbol of courage under fire, with anonymous sources telling the media that "she was fighting to the death." In May, it became clear that much of Lynch's heroic tale was exaggerated by the Pentagon and misreported by the press.