Former POWs visit Dover AFB

  • Published
  • By Mauricio Campino

Dover Air Force Base hosted Bronze Star medal recipient and former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch and Silver Star medal recipient and former POW Patrick Miller April 18, 2023.

During their visit to Dover AFB, Lynch and Miller shared their experiences in captivity with Team Dover members in person at the base theater and during a recorded podcast at the Bedrock Innovation Lab. Following the event, they toured a C-5M Super Galaxy, visited the USO and Air Mobility Command Museum and met with the staff of the survival, evasion, resistance and escape training facility.

A large portion of the SERE training Airmen receive was directly influenced by the experiences of former POWs like Lynch and Miller.

“With this visit I feel like everything is coming full circle,” said Tech. Sgt. Derrick Day, 436th Operations Support Squadron SERE flight chief. “The people who I’ve been teaching about for the last 12 years are now in my office…What they went through and experienced is what I teach about to help our Airmen do what they need to do to come home with honor.” 

While serving with the 507th Maintenance Company, Lynch and Miller were captured by Iraqi forces in March of 2003, after their vehicle convoy was ambushed in An Nasiriyah. 

The next month, Lynch’s rescue involved a combined force of U.S. Marines, Air Force Pararescuemen, Army Rangers, Green Berets, Delta Force operators and Navy Seals. The rescue operation, which made major news headlines at the time, also recovered the remains of eight fellow soldiers killed in the ambush. 

Miller, who was held at a separate location and moved several times during his capture, was rescued later along with four other soldiers.

“I’ve been telling this story for about 20 years,” said Lynch. “But I want people to hear his side of the story as well.” 

Now that Miller has retired from the Army, he and Lynch plan to speak at more events together in order to share their knowledge and experience with others.