When Jessica Lynch returns home to Palestine, W.Va., on Tuesday, there will be a lot of well-wishers saying "welcome home." But a Connecticut teenager decided to put her heartfelt sentiments to music.
Anna Horoschak visited West Virginia last week to share the song she wrote and sings, called "Welcome Home Jessica," with radio stations and with the Lynch family.
Media representatives from all over the country are undoubtedly poised to descend upon the little Wirt County community where Jessica will arrive Tuesday, but Horoschak said she arrived at the family's home unannounced last Tuesday evening and was surprised to find it quiet for now.
"We went to Jessica's house and met her parents," said the 17-year-old. "At first, I was afraid of their dog and wouldn't get out of the car."
Horoschak and her managers, Fred Porter and Suzanne Buckley, introduced themselves, explained the song and its inspiration and left a few CDs for the family.
"Her father came out smiling, and I didn't expect that," she said. "And this was all so big for me, I just burst into tears. Mrs. Lynch went into the house to get me some tissues.
"We didn't stay long," she said. "I gave them the short version of how I came to write the song. And then we left.
"My dream is to sing the song for Jessica in person," Horoschak said. "I've come to believe the song is God sent, and I had to share it with West Virginia."
The teen, who aspires to a musical career and studies voice in Manhattan with a private teacher, said the rescue of Jessica Lynch gave her hope after the events of Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq had made her distraught.
"I was walking in my mother's garden and the song just came to me, the music and the lyrics," she said. "I said, ‘How is that possible?' "
Horoschak's own story, while not as famous as Lynch's, is inspirational, too.
The daughter of a Polish minister and a nurse, she was born there with a birthmark that nearly covered her chin. While physicians there said nothing could be done for her, the girl's parents sought help in the United States.
"The only reason I came to this country was because of my birthmark," she said. "They found a doctor who agreed to do the surgery for free, and I had two operations.
"I was supposed to have a third operation when I was 16, but I chose not to," she said of the unusual light brown triangle that is below her lip. "It's part of me. It's who I am."
Last year, Horoschak recorded a demo CD to promote her music. Her second CD, released just recently, features the song about Lynch and several others by musicians also represented by her managers.
"The song was written for Jessica, but it's also for all the military personnel who are coming home to the land of the free," she said.
Horoschak isn't the only one who put emotions inspired by Lynch to music. Wirt County resident Miriah Duckworth, who is friends with Lynch, recorded a CD now selling in convenience stores in Elizabeth.
The CD, which features "Jessi's Song," sells for $10, $2 of which goes directly to Lynch.
Horoschak's song can be heard at http://www.welcomehomejessicasong.com/
Writer Cheryl Caswell can be reached at 348-4832.
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