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Monday, April 7

Lynch could head back to U.S. soon

By Jim Ross | The (Huntington, W.Va.) Herald Dispatch

Former prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch could be back in the United States this week.

Marie Shaw, spokeswoman for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, said Monday that Lynch will have no more surgeries until she returns to the United States, which should be later this week or sometime next week. Family members have said she would likely be transferred to a hospital in the United States.

The West Virginian is in good condition, recovering from her wounds and her surgeries, Shaw said.

"She is aware. She is talking with her family. She has had apple sauce and some fruit juice today,'' Shaw said.

Lynch, a 19-year-old Army supply clerk, has become a national hero since she was rescued from an Iraqi hospital in Nasiriyah last Tuesday by a team of special forces from the Army, Marines and Air Force. She was the first U.S. prisoner to be rescued from behind enemy lines since World War II.

Her immediate family arrived Sunday in Germany to visit her for the first time since she was taken prisoner. Residents of the small town of Palestine, W.Va., they made their first-ever plane trip aboard a corporate jet provided by the Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co.

Lynch's parents, Deadra and Gregory, will participate in a news conference from Germany on Tuesday.

Lynch's meal Monday included one of her favorite foods. She had told hospital officials she was looking forward to a meal of turkey, steamed carrots and applesauce.

Shaw said Lynch is still being fed intravenously, along with the solid food she had Monday. Lynch's mother was present during Monday's meal, Shaw said.

Lynch is being treated for a head wound, an injury to her spine and fractures to her right arm, both legs, her right foot and ankle. Her 507th Maintenance Company was ambushed March 23 in southern Iraq.

Family members have said Lynch will be transferred to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. when she returns to the United States.