First Baptist Church of Ravenswood will be having a special Veteran’s Day service at 10:45 a.m on Sunday, Nov. 10, featuring Jessica Lynch. Lynch is a former Private First Class (PFC) in the United States Army and a former Prisoner of War (POW).
On March 23, 2003, Lynch was injured and captured by Iraqi forces after her unit was ambushed in Iraq. She was rescued after nine days in captivity on April 1, 2003, by U.S. special operations forces. Lynch’s rescue was the first successful rescue of an American POW since World War II. She has been awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War medals.
“We are extremely honored and humbled to have Ms. Lynch join us in our morning service on Sunday, to help us honor and thank our local veterans for their service,” pastor of First Baptist Toby Wagoner said. “Our Veteran’s Day service will include special music, a reading about veterans, the lighting of candles honoring those who are serving abroad, and then Ms. Lynch sharing her story and the power of prayer. There is no question in my mind, that if anyone knows the power of prayer and overcoming obstacles, it is Jessica Lynch.”
According to data posted on the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance website from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in 2017, there were 142,694 veterans in West Virginia. Of those, 10,218 were women. In total, veterans make up just over ten percent of the population which is more than the national average of six percent according to the data.
“When we consider that over 50 percent of the veterans living in West Virginia are age 65 or older, we need to take time every year to honor and celebrate their service,” Wagoner said. “Our Veteran’s Day Sunday service is one of the most sentimental services we have each year. This would be a great time to bring your family and your kids and your grandkids to help show our appreciation for the men and women who wore, or wear the uniform today. Having Jessica Lynch with us, is something we are all are very much excited about.”
Today, Lynch speaks to various groups around the United States about overcoming her obstacles and how perseverance helped her survive. She further explains that despite the most difficult circumstances – whatever they might be – a positive outlook and determination can truly help individuals live fulfilling lives and accomplish their goals. Along with being a motivational speaker, Lynch is a mother and an educator.
First Baptist’s Veteran’s Day service will begin at 10:45 a.m. and is open to the public. Veterans are encouraged to attend. Cookies, punch, and coffee will be served after the service as part of a meet and greet with Lynch.
First Baptist Church is located at 215 Ann Street in Ravenswood. More information about the service is available online at fbcravenswood.org or by calling 304-273-9910.