WASHINGTON — Jessica Lynch, the injured Army private and prisoner of war who was retrieved from an Iraqi hospital by American commandos, has been discharged from the military, the Army said Wednesday.
"She's been medically retired" because of disability from injuries, said Beverly Chidel, a spokeswoman at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Chidel said that Lynch, 20, was honorably discharged Friday after returning to the medical center from a month's leave and would remain eligible for any required future medical treatment at military hospitals even though she did not serve the 20 years usually required for military retirement.
"When you're injured in war, no matter how many years you have served, you are usually medically retired, because you can't be on active duty anymore if you're not deployable," Chidel said.
Lynch was given a hero's welcome when she returned to her hometown of Palestine, W. Va., on July 22.
The medical discharge clears the way for Lynch to pursue possible book or movie deals about her ordeal, said her attorney, Stephen Goodwin. Though she has not spoken publicly about her ordeal, Lynch has said through a spokesman that she plans to tell her story in a book to be published by the end of the year. "Like any citizen, she is now free to enter into a contract," Goodwin said.