Former POW Jessica Lynch To Speak In Idaho This Weekend - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Former POW Jessica Lynch To Speak In Idaho This Weekend

CRAIGMONT Idaho - Jessica Lynch, the former Army Private First Class (PFC) who was injured and captured by Iraqi forces during the early months of the Iraq War and later rescued by U.S. Special Operations Forces, will be the special Oration Speaker at the Talmaks Camp Meeting at 10AM on July 4th. 

The 114th annual Talmaks Camp Meeting is organized by the 6 Nez Perce Indian Presbyterian Churches located within the Nez Perce Reservation. 

Each year, the Talmaks Camp meeting honors veterans with a Flag Raising Ceremony beginning at 9:45 AM, which is followed by the Oration speaker.

In what was called the Battle of Nasiriyah, PFC Lynch was captured March 23, 2003, when her convoy was ambushed after making a wrong turn and driving directly into enemy territory. PFC Lynch was critically injured when the Humvee she was in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer.  Killed in the battle was her best friend, Lori Piestewa, a Hopi Indian, and the first woman killed in battle in the Iraq War. 

Later, PFC Lynch would testify before Congress that she did not perform the heroic acts the Pentagon initially reported.  Rejecting attempts to make her a war hero, she credits her friend Piestewa as "the real hero" that day, maneuvering her Humvee to pick up PFC Lynch and others in an attempt to escape enemy fire.

Upon returning home Ms. Lynch set the record straight in her book "I Am a Soldier, Too".  In her interviews with national media she credits the real heroes as those who fought and died and risked everything to save her. When asked by CBS News Harry Smith on The Early Show who the real heroes were she said: "Definitely my friend Lori, for trying to get us to safety.  But, you know, she was killed in combat so, but the ones who came in and rescued me, the ones who were in my unit fighting to death, you know, those are my real heroes."

Presiding over the day's activities will be Viet Nam veteran and retired USPHS Corps Commander and former U.S. Army Nurse Captain, Connie Evans, who is also a member of the Nez Perce Tribe.

The Oration will be followed by a camp-wide picnic and afternoon patriotic exercises and races.  The public is invited. 

Talmaks Camp Association President, Maple Stuivenga said, "As Native American people, we were touched by the story of friendship between Jessica Lynch and Lori Piestewa, and the depth of their loss.

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