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First African-American Woman POW to Speak at Kent State

Posted Feb. 21, 2011

The Kent State Veterans Club is hosting Shoshana Johnson, the first African-American woman prisoner of war (POW). Johnson will speak about her experience as a POW and her life as a female veteran on Wednesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva. Shoshana Johnson

Johnson and five other members of the 507th Maintenance Company were captured and taken as POWs on March 23, 2003, after their convoy was ambushed in an-Nasiriyah, Iraq. Specialist Johnson was on assignment with the Army as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The POWs were rescued by the U.S. Marines on April 13, 2003, in Samarra, Iraq.

Since then, Johnson has retired from the Army on a temporary disability honorable discharge. Her awards include the U.S. Army Service Ribbon, Army Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal and the Prisoner of War Medal.

She has also written a memoir titled, I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen – My Journey Home.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Kent State Veterans Club is hosting the event with assistance from the Center for Student Involvement and the Undergraduate Student Government.

By Carrie Drummond