Rescued prisoner of war Jessica Lynch has made steady progress during her treatment at a U.S. military hospital in Germany and is expected back in the United States today to continue recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, officials said yesterday.
The 19-year-old Army supply clerk was captured March 23 near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah and was held for nine days before U.S. commandos rescued her in a daring raid on a hospital where she was being held.
The rescuers also unearthed 11 bodies nearby, at least seven of which have been identified as members of her unit, the 507th Maintenance Company of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. Five soldiers ambushed with Lynch were taken prisoner; their whereabouts are unknown.
Lynch suffered several injuries, the most serious of which involves a vertebra in her lower back, her doctors have said. She also has fractures in her upper right arm, upper left leg, lower left leg and right ankle and foot. It is unclear whether she suffered the injuries when her unit was ambushed, during her captivity or both.
The Palestine, W.Va, native is scheduled to fly from Germany today with her immediate family, landing at Andrews Air Force Base this afternoon. She is expected to stay at Walter Reed for at least 72 hours.
"She's stabilized enough now to have treatment closer to home," an Army spokesman said.
-- Peter Whoriskey