Veteran of the Day graphic by Kimber Garland.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Shoshana Nyree Johnson. Shoshana served from 1998 to 2003.
Shoshana was born in Jan. 1973 in Pedro Miguel, Panama, and moved to the United States as a child with her parents, retired Sergeant First Class Claud Johnson and Eunice. She joined the JROTC program at Andress High School in 1991 and eventually enlisted in the Army in Sep. 1998. She attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and received training as a food service specialist at Fort Lee, Virginia. Shoshana was then assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado before receiving orders to Fort Bliss, Texas.
In Feb. 2003, she received orders to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 507th Maintenance Company, 5/52 Battalion, 11th Brigade. On Mar. 23, 2003, Shoshana was in a convoy that was ambushed near the city of Nasiriyah after taking a wrong turn in the desert. She was taken hostage with five other service members, including Jessica Lynch, and was shot in both her ankles. Shoshana spent 22 days in captivity and was rescued on Apr. 13, 2003 during a house raid conducted by the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division in Samarra. She was taken to Kuwait for a debriefing and light medical care before returning home on Apr. 16.
For her service, Shoshana was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, the Prisoner of War Medal, Army Commendation Ribbon, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and was subsequently honorably retired from the Army on Dec. 2003.
Shoshana earned an Associates of Arts degree in 2008 and a Bachelor of Arts in May 2011 from El Paso Community College. She also penned a memoir about her experience that was released in 2010 called I’m Still Standing: From Captured Soldier to free Citizen- My Journey Home.
Thank you for your service, Shoshana!
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Editor: Arletha Ndoume
Fact checker: Tavia Wager