MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Jessica Lynch, the former prisoner of war whose 2003 rescue in Iraq made her an instant celebrity, is pregnant.
She and boyfriend Wes Robinson are expecting their first child in January, publicist Aly Goodwin Gregg said Thursday.
"I was not sure if this could ever happen for me," Lynch, 23, said in a statement. "Learning to walk again and coping with the internal injuries that I still deal with pale in comparison to the tremendous joy of carrying this child."
Eleven American soldiers were killed and six were captured, including Lynch.
She was rescued nine days later during a special-forces raid on an Iraqi hospital that was videotaped, transforming the soft-spoken young woman into a hero at a time when the U.S. war effort seemed bogged down. It also stirred complaints of U.S. government media manipulation.
Lynch returned to West Virginia after being released from a military hospital and was briefly engaged to Army Sgt. Ruben Contreras Jr.
Family friends introduced her to Robinson, who lives in Vienna, West Virginia, and works at a manufacturing plant.
"I am very blessed to have his love and support in my life," she said.
Lynch, who joined the Army at 18 to earn money for college, said recently that she was transferring from West Virginia University's main campus in Morgantown to the Parkersburg center, closer to home.