WASHINGTON, April 24 (UPI) -- Former Pfc. Jessica Lynch said her rescue during the U.S. invasion of Iraq was more heroic, if not more dramatic, than the account issued by the U.S. military.
"The truth of war is not always easy to hear but it is always more heroic than the hype," Lynch, 23, told a congressional panel in Washington Tuesday.
The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform heard testimony from Lynch and family members of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, an NFL player who joined the military after Sept. 11, 2001, about official false stories told in both incidents. Tillman was killed by "friendly fire" near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in April 2004.
Lynch spent nine days in an Iraqi hospital after she was wounded and captured near the city of An Nasiryah March 23, 2003, suffering a six-inch head gash, damaged spinal column, broken arm, crushed foot, shattered femur and sexual assault. Sensational details of her April 1 rescue were invented and embellished, said committee chairman U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
Lynch said her parent's home in Wirt County, W.Va., "was under siege of the media all repeating the story of the little girl 'Rambo' from the hills who went down fighting. It was not true."
She said, "because of the misinformation, people try to discount the realities of my story, including me as part of the hype. Nothing could be further from the truth."