Well, at least she remembered how to get home.

Baby Jessica the Texas Well Baby* is coming ho-…oh wait. Wrong Jessica.

Jessica Lynch is going home:

The homecoming Tuesday of former POW Jessica Lynch has inspired fanfare worthy of a visiting head of state. A floodlit stage and media tent have been erected with seating for hundreds. Flag-bedecked T-shirts announcing “Welcome Home Jessica” are on sale for $5, and a CD featuring a song about her — “She was just nineteen, became America’s queen” — is available for $10. Every few miles along the main road, traffic slows for orange-vested road crews filling potholes, plucking trash from the weeds and trimming shrubbery.

“The level of preparation is consistent with a presidential appearance,” said Joe Carey, director of communications for West Virginia Gov. Robert E. Wise Jr. (D) and a former Clinton advance man.

Lynch’s celebrity status is undisputed here, even if the details and significance of the war story that launched her fame are not.

The town, draped in flags and yellow ribbons, is unmistakably proud. Many here have taken the recent CBS proposal to develop a Beverly Hillbillies reality TV show as an insult to their heritage, and are pleased that tiny Wirt County (pop. 6,000) can take credit for something more dignified.

But even among the most ardent supporters of “Jessi,” as she is known in town, there is an unsettling sense that the phenomenon of her celebrity, through no fault of hers, has rapidly outgrown what is known of her capture and rescue.

“Every war needs a hero,” reflected James Roberts, 77, the third-generation owner of the 117-year-old general store here. “Rickenbacker . . . Kennedy . . . she’s the hero in this war. The facts don’t particularly matter.”

The facts don’t particularly matter” pretty much describes this whole war.

Too bad the guys in Ward 57 aren’t cute little blonds.

* I had forgotten that Baby Jessica was from…Midland.



Yeah. Like I would tell you....