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I'm Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen--My Journey Home Hardcover – February 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Johnson gained national attention as America's first black female prisoner of war. She was in the 507th Maintenance Company convoy ambushed on March 23, 2003, in Nasiriyah, and captured with five other soldiers including Jessica Lynch. One might call Johnson's presence in a firefight a compound accident. She was a cook who had enlisted in 1998 hoping to earn money for her education and perhaps meet a nice guy, and was a cook with the 507th, which existed to maintain Patriot missiles. But she was sent with the convoy, and the bullets Johnson took in both ankles did not ask for her military occupational specialty. Though objectively treated well enough by her Iraqi captors, she was wounded, female, and black: three reasons for being afraid. Rescued three weeks later in a daring raid, Johnson emerged with a Bronze Star, a case of post-traumatic stress disorder, and an unwanted celebrity status sufficiently resented by the system that she left the army. Johnson endured her captivity with courage and emerged with honor. With the help of former army reservist Doyle, she vividly, simply, and unpretentiously tells her tale . (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Johnson had the experience of being the first African-American woman held as a POW. This was almost as unpleasant as it was unsought, for she was badly wounded in the leg, and Iraqi medical treatment left the impression that the Iraqis didn’t know what they were doing. On the other hand, the way Americans presented the incident in which Johnson, along with the more celebrated Jessica Ryan, was captured made Johnson doubt her fellow Americans, at least until the U.S. Marines rescued the POWs. A single mother now raising her daughter, Johnson, with the aid of expert co-writer Doyle, has told a story that adds substantially to our knowledge of the black military experience and of the Iraq War. --Roland Green

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st edition (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416567488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416567486
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,304,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In 2003 in An Nasiriyah, Iraq, six soldiers (including Jessica Lynch who became the prime celebrity of the incident) assigned to the 507th Maintenance Company were captured by the enemy during an ambush. One of those taken in the firefight was unit cook Shoshana Johnson, who became the first ever African-American female POW. After three plus weeks as a prisoner, moving from place to place, the marines rescued her and the others (except Lynch previously rescued).

The key to this memoir is how profound Johnson describes her ordeal during captivity and even more so as a sudden celebrity of sorts. She makes the case that her abductees were kind giving her medical aid to her ankles hit by bullets and fed and clothed her. Yet throughout she lived in fear as a Black woman POW in a country in which gender and race matter. After being freed, her fame left others angry and resentful so she left the military. With a strong conviction, Ms. Johnson and M.L. Doyle tear into her accusers that she and the others deserved being prisoners and were no heroes as they simply made a wrong turn. Well written with the predominance of the memoir being her POW 22 days and her PTSD that still haunts her since becoming free; fans of military chronicles will want to read I'm Still Standing.

Harriet Klausner
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By onewac on February 7, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was impressed with this book. As a female veteran I make it a point to read other books about and by other veterans especially females. This book touched my heart. It is well formatted for the kindle. The book felt as though she was talking to me rather than just citing details. Good luck in your recovery! A must read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aleta D. Dempsey on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! What an emotional and inspirational journey that American hero Shoshana Johnson (and M.L. Doyle) takes us on in the telling of her story about being ambushed in Iraq, injured, captured, then thankfully, freed! Her honesty and humility evoke the reader's patriotism and pride in the U.S. military. This captivating must-read is a story about the strength and generosity of the human spirit, shown by Ms. Johnson, her fellow POW's, her rescuers, and surprisingly, even some of her captors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Frederick on February 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Johnson's story is inspirational. It is worth reading, especially since so many myths and legends have been spawned by the tragic events in 2003 when her convoy was ambushed.

The dark, early days of the invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003 now seem like a long, long time ago. I'm sure to the former POWs who were involved in the ambushed convoy, it seems like decades...or maybe in some ways like yesterday. A lot of nonsense came out of those foggy, sandstorm-wracked weeks when the 1st Marine Division and 3rd Infantry Division were bogged down short of Baghdad. It's good - and necessary - that the veterans are getting their versions of events into the public eye.

To her credit, Johnson gives credit where credit is due, including verifying, once and for all, who the heroes were on 23 March '03, namely Sgt Donald Walters and PFC Patrick Miller. Only the soldiers who survived that confusing, hellish hailstorm of incoming fire know what really happened and Shoshana appears to tell it like it was. She (rightfully) has an axe or two to grind with the media and the Army, particularly for feeding on her and her comrades for the sake of a story, for turning Jessica Lynch into a hero - through no fault of her own - and, though not universally, for turning on Johnson and her fellow POW's. Many blamed the inexperienced soldiers for getting lost, blundering into an ambush and allowing themselves to be captured. No one who hasn't experienced combat or war in any form has a right to point fingers or second guess what happened, how it happened or the actions of those who were there.

Johnson and her fellow prisoners held up extraordinarily well under very harsh circumstances, to say the least.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After dropping out of college and only finding employment earning low wages, Shoshana Johnson decides to return to college. Not sure of a career goal, the sound advice she receives from an aunt is to figure out what she likes to do and pursue it. Since Shoshana loves to cook, she decides on culinary arts school. Realizing the expense of attending a culinary arts school, she had to construct a plan on how to pay; and the answer was the military.

Shoshana didn't have a hard time adjusting to the military life; after all she was brought up in the military. Her father joined the U.S. Army after their family emigrated from Panama. Once she enlisted in the Army, Shoshana became a cook to learn a skill and determined being a cook was a safe military job. Little did she know, her life would change forever.

I'M STILL STANDING: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen-My Journey Home, exemplifies courage and honor shown by Shoshana and her fellow soldiers beginning on the fateful day of March 23, 2003, in An Nasiriyah, Iraq where they were ambushed and captured. Shoshana, the first black female prisoner of war in the U.S., paints a compelling and emotional picture of her twenty-two days held in captivity. She recounts in vivid detail the grueling pain she suffered from her injuries, her treatment from the Iraqis, the glorious day of rescue by the Marines, her emotional disorder after returning to the U.S., and last but not least, the unfair and unrighteous treatment from the military.

Shoshana Johnson's "hold nothing back" story is heartfelt, moving, inspiring, and I recommend it to be read by everyone.

Reviewed by Sharon Lewis
of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
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