Jessica Lynch Reacts to Pentagon Lifting Women in Combat Ban

Lynchburg, VA - Former POW Jessica Lynch and West Point graduate Edward Olivares both support the Pentagon lifting the ban on women in direct combat.

"I had the training and did everything just like the men had done," said Lynch.

Lynch, who is the sister-in-law of ABC 13 reporter Angela Hatcher, spoke to us by phone from her home in West Virginia Thursday.

At just 19 years old, Lynch, unexpectedly found herself in combat in 2003. She spent nine days as an Iraqi prisoner of war, after her maintenance convoy was attacked.

"For years women have been fighting for our freedom," said Lynch. "They've been put in those roles anyway. Whether they are designed for a front line mission, they're being put in those kind of roles and paths anyway."

"I was very much against women being admitted into West Point", said Edward Olivares.

Another female soldier changed the mind of Edward Olivares. The Amherst County man is a 1957 West Point grad and admissions representative for the military academy.

"She grabbed her driver's M16 and lead the attack," said Olivares. "That captain proved to me that there are women who are just as brave, just as able, and just as heroic in their reactions as the men."

Both Lynch and Olivares agree that admissions standards for Special Forces and infantry units should not be lowered to accommodate women.

Olivares administers physical fitness tests to potential West Point cadets and points out there are also males who are not up to that challenge.