Jessica Lynch arrives in SWFL, greeted by Patriot Guard Riders

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BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. – Jessica Lynch, a former prisoner of war, was greeted with a surprise welcome by the Patriot Guard Riders and dozens of other people at the American Legion Post 303 in Bonita Springs on Thursday evening.

“This is such a blessing. I mean this is such an honor, such a wonderful homecoming and I wish all of our veterans got to experience this,” Lynch said.

Lynch was just 19 years old when her Army convoy was attacked in Iraq three days into the invasion in 2003. Eleven soldiers in her convoy were killed, six were captured, including Lynch. She was eventually rescued from an Iraqi hospital.

Now, 12 years later, and she is using trips like these to help other veterans and herself cope with PTSD.

“It’s going to be a busy, packed, but fun-filled weekend. Lots of monuments and museums to go look at.”

The Post Commander for American Legion Post 303 says he is excited Lynch was able to come to Bonita Springs.

“It is absolutely amazing for this Post, there are a lot of veterans here and a lot of people who know Jessica’s story and it’s just an honor and privilege to have her here,”Adam Prentki said.

Lynch says connecting with other veterans is all apart of the process of moving forward.

“That’s what I mainly get to look forward to, bonding and having that camaraderie between soldiers,” Lynch said.

On Friday, Lynch will be at the American Legion Post 38 in Fort Myers from 3:15 p.m. – 6 p.m. On Sunday she will hang a black dog tag at the Iraqi Star Monument in Cape Coral.

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