MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch calls Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's announcement allowing women in combat roles good news for the U.S. military.
The West Virginia resident says women have long been integral to victories in the fight for freedom.
Lynch was 19 when she was captured after her Army unit took a wrong turn and came under attack in Iraq in 2003. She was rescued after nine days in captivity.
Lynch urges Americans to support military men and women, and to push U.S. officials to ensure they have proper training and equipment.
Panetta says allowing women to fill combat roles will strengthen the U.S. military's ability to win wars.