Tags: jessica lynch | rescue | operation | silver star | medals

Jessica Lynch Rescue Operation Tarnished by SEAL Silver Stars?

Jessica Lynch Rescue Operation Tarnished by SEAL Silver Stars?

Jessica Lynch being loaded into a helicopter on her way out of Iraq. (Photo by CENTCOM/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 May 2016 10:21 AM

Jessica Lynch's rescue operation during the dawn of the war in Iraq 13 years ago resulted in awarding Silver Stars for valor to two Navy SEALs. Now a military expert is questioning the citations given for those medals, the military's third-highest decoration, reported USA Today.

The commendations to the SEALs were made in secret, along with more than 100 more such awards to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, said USA Today.

Lynch, an Army private, was captured by Iraqi forces on March 23, 2003, when her convoy was ambushed. She and others were rescued by U.S. military forces from the Saddam Hussein General Hospital in Nasiriyah on April 1.

There were claims that the military trumped up Lynch's capture and rescue to bolster support for the Iraq War and they led to an investigation by the Pentagon along with congressional hearings.

Dwight Mears, a former West Point history professor and military awards process researcher, told USA Today that the citation language in the Lynch rescue differed from other citations, calling it "a little over the top."

"These read very much like embellished evaluation reports, not citations for gallantry in action," Mears said.

The citation for both men read, according to USA Today, that they led "a brilliant surgical air and ground assault to seize key areas of the hospital." The citation added: "The strategic significance of the first successful rescue of a U.S. POW is epic as it devastated Iraqi resolve and bolstered U.S. and international support for the campaign." 

Some other accounts of Lynch's capture and rescue have been controversial. Tales of Lynch firing on her captors even after being stabbed were refuted by the Army private herself, noted CNN.

"I'm still confused as to why they chose to lie and try to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were legendary," Lynch told CNN back in 2015.

Lynch said her legs and feet where crushed when her convoy truck was ambushed and since has undergone 22 surgeries, mostly to her lower extremities. Eleven soldiers were killed in the convoy attack and she said she was sexually assaulted after her capture.

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Jessica Lynch's rescue operation during the dawn of the war in Iraq 13 years ago resulted in awarding Silver Stars for valor to two Navy SEALs. Now a military expert is questioning the citations given for those medals, the military's third-highest decoration.
jessica lynch, rescue, operation, silver star, medals
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2016-21-17
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 10:21 AM
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