08/24/2006 at 10:00 AM EDT
Former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch is expecting her first child in January with boyfriend Wes Robinson.
The West Virginia soldier made headlines three years ago when in the early months of the Iraq war she was captured and later rescued.
"I was not sure if this could ever happen for me after all of the injuries and physical trauma I suffered," Lynch, now 23, said in an e-mail to Diane Sawyer that was released by her publicist.
"Learning to walk again and coping with the internal injuries that I still deal with pale in comparison to the tremendous joy of carrying this child.
"My boyfriend Wes and I are keeping busy between work and school, house hunting and getting ready for this new addition, but we are truly ecstatic and so are our families.
"He is a perfect match for me and I am very blessed to have his love and support in my life.”
Lynch met Robinson, 25, through family friends. He works in a manufacturing plant in Mineral Wells, W.Va.
In Iraq on March 23, 2003, Lynch and her comrades were ambushed when their convoy took a wrong turn. Lynch suffered extensive injuries and several of her fellow soldiers were killed.
She was rescued on April 1 and spent the following months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she was treated for a fractures to her spine and a crushed right foot.
After Lynch returned to West Virginia, she entered college
at the West Virginia University in Morgantown and is currently a sophomore studying education and journalism.