PALESTINE, W.Va. (AP) — American Army POW Pfc. Jessica Lynch's parents turned aside questions Thursday about their daughter's rescue in Iraq, saying they were reluctant to talk about it.
Recent media reports have disputed U.S. military information surrounding Lynch's April 1 rescue from a hospital in Nasiriyah.
"We're really not supposed to talk about that subject," her father, Greg Lynch, said during a news conference at the family's rural West Virginia home. "It's still an ongoing investigation, and we can't talk about nothing like that."
But at another point, he said: "Nobody has told us not to talk about it. Our main concern is to get Jessi in good health."
The 20-year-old Army supply clerk is being treated at a Washington hospital for injuries suffered when her 507th Maintenance Unit convoy was ambushed in Iraq in March. Eleven members of the convoy were killed. Five others were captured and later released.
Some Iraqi hospital staff members said this month that the U.S. commandos who came to get Lynch refused a key and instead broke down doors and went in with guns drawn. They said the commandos carried away the prisoner in the dead of night with helicopter and armored vehicle backup — even though there was no Iraqi military presence and the hospital staff didn't resist.
But Lynch's mother, Deadra, said, "We're not focusing on the reports. We're just focusing on Jessi."
The purpose of the Lynches' news conference was to thank supporters and volunteers who are building an addition the couple's house to accommodate their daughter when she comes home from the hospital.
Lynch's health is improving daily, but that she "has a long road" to full recovery, Greg Lynch said.
Lynch's parents have been with her almost constantly since flying to Germany in early April to meet her. Lynch is being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for various fractures and broken bones.
Greg Lynch said his daughter's memory is good, despite media reports that she suffered from amnesia.
"Her memory is as good as it was when she was home," he said. "She can still remember everything." But, the family has not pressed her for details.
New attention has been drawn to the April 1 rescue since a BBC report earlier this month created controversy by charging that the Pentagon exaggerated the danger of the raid.
An Associated Press reporter spoke to more than 20 doctors, nurses and other workers at the hospital. In interview after interview, the assessment was the same: The dramatics that surrounded Lynch's rescue were unnecessary.
Pentagon officials bristle at any suggestion that Lynch's rescue was staged or that any details were exaggerated. They have never claimed there was fighting inside the hospital but say Nasiriyah was not a peaceful place.
Spokesmen for the Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and Marine commando units involved in the rescue declined requests to allow participants to be interviewed.
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