Former POW speaks in Pigeon Forge

Jessica Lynch speaks to hospitality leaders in Pigeon Forge on Thursday at the Dixie Stampede. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch spoke to hospitality leaders in Pigeon Forge on Thursday and brought a message of hope.

Lynch says her life has changed in many ways over the 10 years since she was freed from Iraq. Lynch has since undergone more than 20 surgeries and still walks with a limp.

Lynch and her convoy were attacked in Iraq in 2003. Lynch says she never fired her weapon and was knocked unconscious during the attack. She woke up later in an Iraqi hospital full of pain.

"I was afraid I would Die, or be murdered, or be taken back down to the operating room and have my leg amputated," said Lynch.

Now Lynch travels the country with her message for veterans and civilians. She wants people to not give up and go after their goals.

"Whether you're a veteran or not, people face struggles, obstacles in their life. you know the deal with things they must overcome whether it's something simple or something major," she said. "You know I wake up every morning and whether I feel good or not, it's kind of like alright put on a happy face let's get this day started."

Lynch has since graduated from college and has a 6-year-old daughter.

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