CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — Jessica Lynch, the young soldier who became an icon of the Iraq War, visited Illinois this weekend.

“Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice. I’m honored to be in your company, and to know that brave women are fighting to defend our nation and our freedoms.”

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The National Women Veterans United hosted a meet-and-greet for Lynch, a former U.S. soldier and prisoner of war.

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Lynch was 19 when she was captured by enemy forces while serving in Iraq.

She was badly injured when her convoy was ambushed in Iraq in 2003. She was later rescued by American troops from an Iraqi hospital, but the tale of her ambush was changed into a story of heroism on her part.

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Lynch later received several awards for her bravery, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff