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THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ

Jessica Lynch Comrade Was Captured Before He Was Slain

May 29, 2004|From Reuters

SEATTLE — A U.S. soldier originally listed as having been killed in action while riding in the same convoy as Pfc. Jessica Lynch was actually captured and slain by Iraqi fighters, military officials said Friday.

The story of Oregon National Guard Sgt. Donald Walters came out after his mother requested that the Army provide more information surrounding the ambush of the 507th Army Maintenance Company on March 23, 2003, near the town of Nasiriya, Iraq.

Arlene Walters, appearing on local television, said she wanted to find out whether her son had fought heroically until his ammunition had run out, actions first attributed to Lynch.

After being rescued last year, Lynch said many of the actions attributed to her were false, because she was injured when her Humvee crashed during the firefight.

Military investigators interviewed an ambulance driver who had taken Walters' body to a hospital. They also matched samples of his DNA from his truck to a wall in a building where he had been shot to death.

He was awarded a Prisoner of War medal this week, in addition to previous posthumously awarded medals, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

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