This weekend, dozens of people had the opportunity to meet and honor an American hero. Jessica Lynch, who is the first female prisoner of war, spent several days in Southwest Florida, taking part in several military events during visits to Fort Myers, North Port and Cape Coral.
Lynch was captured by the Iraqi military back in 2003 where she was severely injured in the process. She was then rescued by American troops.
You probably could have heard a pin drop in between breaths as Jessica Lynch shared her story.
Some people in the audience seemed to be holding their own breath as the West Virginia native shared details of when she was in Iraq, held a prisoner of war, at just 19 years old.
“They had not given me any type of food or water when I was in captivity,” Lynch said. “I was given about 4 ounces of orange juice the whole time.”
Lynch is the first female prisoner of war rescued by American soldiers after her U.S. Army supply convoy took a wrong turn and was attacked in a key town on the road to Baghdad.
“We were literally just being attacked from every angle,” Lynch shared. “I mean we were like ducks in the middle of a pond with nowhere to go."
Eleven soldiers were killed, six captured, and she suffered severe injuries when her Humvee crashed.
This weekend she spent time in southwest Florida attending various military events in Fort Myers, North Port, and lastly Cape Coral.
At an intimate service held on Sunday at the Elks Lodge brought dozens to hear Lynch share her story.
“I remember watching the day turn into nights and then nights turn back into day,” Lynch said. “I honestly thought I was going to die there.”
Fortunately, she thought wrong. Lynch was rescued by American soldiers from an Iraqi hospital after days of captivity.
“I remember one of them ripping the American flag off of his uniform and placing it inside my hand,” Lynch said. “He said we’re American soldiers and we’re here to take you home.”
For the past 12 years, Lynch has been traveling across the country sharing her story and leaving people wondering how she made it through.
“I don’t know where she got the courage or the strength to accomplish what she did,” Suzanne Malecki said. “But she did it."
Lynch says her faith in God is what has helped her through it and continues to be a central part to her life.
Lynch was also honored at the military museum at a luncheon followed by an afternoon of outside entertainment where dozens of people gathered to meet her.