Veterans Day is a good way to recognize the sacrifices that were made by ordinary citizens who made the choice to risk their lives on behalf of their country. It is the ultimate selfless act and not many of us are willing to stand in the line of fire for people that we don’t know. But there is a selected few who takes pride in fighting for what they believe in, and one of those people happens to be Shoshana Johnson.
The Panamanian-born former solder is being celebrated for her achievements and grace under fire. She is the first African-American female soldier prisoner of war on record in the US Army.
She sustained injuries caused by a bullet wound during a gun fight while serving as part of the team of Operation Iraqi Freedom back in 2003.
The Iraqi State Television famously broadcasted her interrogation while she was held captive by the opposition and that led to her instant notoriety.
She was eventually rescued after a staged house raid and returned home a hero. But her story was overshadowed by another fellow solder, Jessica Lynch, who garnered more public empathy and was even offered a million-dollar book for her personal ordeal. Most believe that Lynch benefited more and received most of the attention because she was white, and the controversy revealed a deeper issue with race in the military.
But Johnson still got the opportunity to tell her story after signing a book deal with Simon and Schuster in 2008. Her book – I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen – My Journey Home made its debut on February 2. 2010.
Today we salute Shoshana Johnson and the other brave men and women who continue to fight for freedom and the American Way.