Melissa Rathbun-Nealy

updated 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

MELISSA Rathbun-Nealy, America's first female POW of the Gulf War, hated the publicity more than the 33-day captivity. "My priority was to get married," she says, "not worry about interviews." Wed to fellow vet Michael Coleman in March 1991, she's now a homemaker raising two daughters in Grand Rapids. But the war is not behind her. Plagued by migraines and aching joints, the Cole-mans fear they have Gulf War syndrome. Melissa reluctantly speaks out about it, saying, "I'm a private person. I want to keep it that way."

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