SHOSHANA HOLDS NOTHING BACK in this harrowing account of an ordinary woman caught in extraordinary circumstances. She reveals decisions made by chain of command that may have led to her twenty-two-day imprisonment, describes the pain of post-traumatic stress disorder, and shares the surprising story of how a specialist in a maintenance company ended up on the front lines of war. Told with exceptional bravery and candor, I’m Still Standing is at once a provocative look at the politics of war and the unforgettable story of a single mom and soldier who became an American hero.
In March 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom made world headlines when a U. S. army convoy was attacked en route to Baghdad. Shoshana Johnson became the first black female prisoner of war in United States history.
Shoshana Nyree Johnson was born in the Republic of Panama and moved to the United States with her family when she was a child. A second-generation Army veteran, she did not plan a career in the military, but became a JROTC cadet in 1991 and joined the U.S. Army in September 1998 while attending classes at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
On March 23rd, 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shoshana was in a convoy that was ambushed in the city of an-Nasiriyah. Wounded, she and five fellow soldiers were captured and taken as prisoners of war, making world news headlines. The POWs were rescued by U.S. Marines on the morning of April 13, and Shoshana returned to the U.S., retiring from the Army on a Temporary Disability Honorable Discharge in December 2003. Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, and the Prisoner of War Medal. U.S. Army officials also identified Shoshana as the first female POW of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first black female POW in U.S. war history.
Shoshana lives in El Paso, Texas with her daughter Janelle, her sisters Nikki and Erika, and two nieces.