Souha Saleh, 18, disappeared in the chaos after helping lead 76 other Americans out of harms way to Beirut for evacuation.
She spoke exclusively to CBS Radio News on Friday morning from her father's home in Bell, Calif. "I ... went from a life-threatening situation, and now I'm back home and I'm safe," said Saleh. "I left my heart there."
Saleh had been visiting family in southern Lebanon when the fighting broke out. She contacted the embassy in Beirut, and over the course of the next few days she navigated her way around missiles and ground fighting, and eventually made it to Beirut.
But instead of just heading straight to Beirut, she took the time to spread the word to others in the village and helped assemble a convoy 40 cars long for the dangerous journey. "Some cars got flat tires because of the shrapnel. Oil panels broke. Cars were blown up in front of us," Saleh recalled.
to listen to the CBS News interview with Saleh.
She maintained contact with the embassy during the journey, leading the convoy to safety. Saleh then boarded a boat and disappeared. CBS News' Vicki Barker in Beirut was the first reporter to tell . The search for her had been on ever since.
Saleh said the horrors she witnessed continue to torment her. "You had people injured begging you to take them with you."
She's grateful to be home, but said her "mind's still there. Your prayers go out to all the people who are still there."