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Ex-POW Jessica Lynch Honorably Discharged

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The medical discharge clears the way for Lynch to pursue possible book or movie deals about her ordeal, Stephen Goodwin of Charleston said. Though she has not spoken publicly about her time in Iraq, Lynch has said through a spokesman that she plans to tell her story in a book to be published by the end of the year.

"As of now, she is not a member of the military anymore," Goodwin said. "Like any citizen, she is now free to enter into a contract."

Lynch, 20, suffered multiple broken bones and other injuries when her 507th Maintenance Company was ambushed in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on March 23.

Her rescue on April 1 made a celebrity out of Lynch, who joined the Army to get an education and become a kindergarten teacher.

She returned home last month to a hero's welcome after a long stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the nation's capital. She revisited the hospital for the first time last week for a checkup, and was granted the discharge during that trip.

Lynch will continue physical therapy at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg. She can walk with crutches, but is still recovering.

She hopes to improve enough to travel to Colorado in November to celebrate Thanksgiving with her fiance, Army Sgt. Ruben Contreras Jr., and his family.

Goodwin said Lynch had not signed a book deal with anyone as of Wednesday, although Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg has been a guest at the Lynch home to do research. The Times has reported Bragg will be paid $1 million to tell Lynch's story.

NBC plans a TV movie starring Laura Regan that has been developed without Lynch's authorization, while CBS abandoned its plans for a Lynch movie.

Goodwin said he wasn't sure if Lynch is receiving medical disability. Calls to the U.S. Army were not immediately returned Wednesday.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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