Former POW Jessica Lynch will soon be heading home to West Virginia, nearly four months after she became a hero when she was rescued by special forces during the war in Iraq.
The private first class is to be released from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington on July 22, family spokesman Randy Coleman said.
"We are ready for her to come home. She's been through enough and so has her family," said Suellen Calebaugh of Elizabeth.
Lynch, a 20-year-old supply clerk, suffered multiple broken bones and other injuries when her Humvee utility vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed on March 23 near the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. Eleven soldiers were killed and five others were captured.
After she was captured, Lynch was taken to a hospital in Nasiriyah where she was rescued on April 1.
Lynch will continue to undergo rehabilitation at her home in nearby Palestine, about 70 miles north of Charleston, Coleman said, adding that she can walk with the aid of a walker but still has trouble standing.
"She wants to get home and they (her doctors) believe she is ready for rehabilitation outside their facility," he said. "It appears that her rehabilitation is going to be a long and difficult process," Coleman said.
Lynch's mother and father, Greg and Deadra Lynch, will accompany her on a military medical helicopter from Washington to western West Virginia. She'll make a brief statement to reporters, then be taken in a military motorcade to her home. She will not take questions and will not address specifics of her capture and rescue, Coleman said.
"It will be very short and sweet," Wirt County Sheriff Andy Cheuveront said Tuesday.
Lynch's 21-year-old brother, Greg Lynch Jr., also an Army private first class, is expected to join her, Coleman said.
Lynch's rescue quickly made an American hero out of the petite blonde who joined the Army to get an education and become a kindergarten teacher. But Lynch is not ready for celebrity life.
"It's different when you go to Hollywood wanting to be a star, but it wasn't like she was asking to be a star," said Teresa Toney of Elizabeth. "Now, probably almost everyone in the world knows who she is. She will not be able to fathom all of this."