Ten years after becoming the first American POW to be rescued since the Vietnam War, soldier Jessica Lynch has blossomed into a mother, teacher and motivational speaker – but she still is haunted by what happened in Iraq.
“About every night I have some kind of dream where there’s someone chasing me,’’ the 29-year-old Lynch told the “Today” show on Monday. “It’s hard. It really is mentally and physically draining. I’m very blessed and happy to be here, and I think that’s what counts the most, and if I tell myself that I’m OK, I eventually I start (thinking), ‘You know what? I can do this.'”
Lynch, who lives with 6-year-old daughter Dakota in her hometown of Charleston, W. Va., became a symbol for Americans fighting abroad after she was rescued by U.S. Special Forces from an Iraqi hospital on April 1, 2003.
Her exploits became the stuff of legend, so much so that she testified before Congress to clear the air after some people expanded her role in the firefight that led to her capture. She told Congress she was a survivor, not a hero. In fact, she has needed 21 surgeries since the rescue.
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