Skip to comments.First Female Black POW Speaks Out in Book
Posted on 02/05/2010 6:12:09 PM PST by Redcitizen
(AP) Shoshana Johnson survived gunshot wounds to both legs and 22 days as a prisoner of war in Iraq. Life wasn't so easy when she came home, either.
In a new book out this week, the 37-year-old single mother describes mental health problems related to her captivity and tells how it felt to play second fiddle in the media to fellow POW Jessica Lynch, who was captured in the same ambush.
"It was kind of hurtful," the former Army cook said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "If I'd been a petite, cutesy thing, it would've been different."
Page 2- She had severely injured her shoulder in a training exercise and was recovering from surgery. But Piestewa knew her roommate was nervous about going into a war zone. And there were the other members of her unit to consider. So Piestewa decided to argue her way into deployment. Her kids were safe in Tuba City. The 507th was her family now, and it was in danger. She told her brother Wayland she had a feeling that Lynch or someone else in the company was going to get into trouble in Iraq. She wanted to be in a position to help.
Lynch told Piestewa it was OK, she didnt have to go. But she had made up her mind.
"You have to I have to," Piestewa told her roommate. She went to her superiors and lied about her shoulder, saying it had healed. She was returned to active duty.
God bless them all for doing their duty to the best of their abilities.
“If I’d been a petite, cutesy thing, it would’ve been different.”
The petty wench lost me right there. Screw this. Getting captured does NOT a hero make....and to compound it with such pettiness......I’d better shut up now or I’ll get into big trouble here.
Have zero memory of her.
What a whinny twerp.
So she got herself killed for nothing. War isn't a sport where you can play hurt, it's life or death for all participants.
From what I heard Lynch suffered the worst from her captors.
Ms. Johnson, the press did you a favor, otherwise you'd be 10x more traumatized, guaranteed!
Anybody with a better memory than mine:
There was another hero that took out several Iraqis with his gun before he was captured along with the rest of the group. He kept singing a song and it irritated the hell out of his guards. I remember he was a blond kid that looked no older than 20.
I remember the total fear that this girl had on her face as she was taken captive and filmed.
I would never think that I could judge her. She did her job and did it honorably. To me, she deserves a hell of a lot of respect and support.
Being a petite, cutesy thing, always makes a difference. Even in the military. Been there, know that for a fact.
And no, I think you’re OK, Mr. RightOnline. I understand what you’re saying. It is just that I understand too, from exactly where she is coming in her statement.
The problem with Lynch is that she totally went coward and at least contributed to the deaths of the top NCO and the others in her Humvee.
One girl was driving while the sergeant was trying to think and to fight while two males jumped in the back and were trying to fire up a SAW, while Lynch describes herself as screaming, panicking getting in the floor board and never firing.
The driver rammed into another vehicle killing everyone except for Lynch.
The MSM sure is careful to leave out that women POW’s get raped over and over as a matter of course in Muslim countries. Remember that story from Iran where girl dissidents being raped because your not supposed to execute virgins? (I hear there are 27 young women on ‘death row’ in Iran)
Just understand the MSM is never going to make a big deal that women in combat are going to be brutalized if they’re captured.
“”DOTHAN, Ala., June 24 On a cold night during her weeklong captivity in Iraq in the Persian Gulf war, Maj. Rhonda Cornum was loaded into a pickup truck with another American prisoner of war, a young male sergeant, and taken from an underground bunker to a small prison. During the 30-minute drive, an Iraqi guard kissed her repeatedly, pulled a blanket over their heads so that they would not be seen, unzipped her flight suit and fondled her breasts.
Major Cornum, a 37-year-old flight surgeon and biochemist from upstate New York, had broken both arms, smashed her knee and had a bullet in her right shoulder as a result of the downing of her Army helicopter. She screamed in pain when the Iraqi tried to pull her flight suit down over her untreated and swollen arms. Before the ordeal was over, she told a Presidential commission on women in the military this month, she was “violated manually — vaginally and rectally.”
Major Cornum’s testimony stunned some of the members of the commission, which also learned in the hearing that Specialist Melissa Coleman, the other American female prisoner of war in Iraq, was the victim of “indecent assault.”
Their treatment has since become an issue in the debate over whether women in the military should be allowed into combat. Those who favor limiting the role of women have seized upon Major Cornum’s experience, saying it proves that women are more vulnerable than men in combat situations. None of the male prisoners, for instance, have reported that they were sexually abused during their captivity.
But other experts on P.O.W.’s and on military personnel say the disclosure illustrates much larger issues: that rape and sexual abuse are two of the many forms of mistreatment suffered by prisoners of war....””
Anyone hear about this guy?
It was Miller, a 23-year-old Army welder from Kansas, who single-handedly took on several Iraqis, manually slamming rounds into his assault rifle and firing as they prepared to lob mortar rounds at Lynch and other soldiers from the 507th Maintenance Company.
Hes one of my heroes, said Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, who was wounded and leaning against her truck as Miller dashed past her up a dusty road toward the Iraqi mortar pit. His actions may have saved my life.
Miller was the sole member of the unit to receive the Silver Star, one of the militarys highest awards for valor. Nearly 130,000 Army troops served in the Iraq war and its aftermath, but only 86 Silver Stars had been awarded through mid-September, according to the Army Personnel Command. Lynch and other members of the 507th received Bronze Stars, a notch below the Silver Star.
Shoshana yelled at him, Get down, Miller! Get down! Youre going to get hit! said another soldier, Spc. Edgar Hernandez, describing how Miller charged toward the Iraqis. Hernandez recalled hearing automatic fire from Iraqi AK-47s and the single shots of Millers M-16 rifle.
As a prisoner of war, Miller badgered his interrogators for three weeks, singing an off-key rendition of country singer Toby Keiths anti-terrorist song, Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue. And he fooled them.
The Iraqis pressed him to explain a series of numbers and code words scratched on a piece of paper inside his helmet. Prices for power-steering pumps, he told them. The soldiers tossed the paper into a small campfire, unaware that they had destroyed information vital to an enemy: radio frequencies for an invading unit.
Hes a Pfc. in the Army and he exposed himself without hesitation to the enemy to save his comrades, said Col. Heidi V. Brown, who commanded the Army task force in Iraq that included Millers unit and who wrote his medal ciTation, based on interviews with U.S. soldiers and Iraqis. It doesnt get more heroic than that.
All the witnesses corroborated the tale of Millers charging toward a mortar pit and shooting at the enemy, said Brown in a telephone interview, though no one could agree on a precise number of enemy dead. An Army investigative report said it could have been as many as nine. Absolutely, he killed some Iraqis, Brown said.
And she shouldn’t be COMPETING with her fellow soldiers.
What a JA. Pissed that she isn’t richer and more famous?
She should be turning to her fellow captives in camaraderie, not anger at who’s getting more attention.
So do I.
God bless Shoshanand.My Granddaughter was there 2nd wave in 4 th ID and she is beautiful,petite and Jessica made me terrified for her.
She forgot she had a gun in her hand? I never read this story before.
Thank you. That’s him. Singing off key.
Why didn’t he received the MoH?
Her gun wouldn’t fire and the sergeant was trying to clear her weapon from his passenger’s seat, when I read the details it sounded like he had his hands full, a panicking female driver, Private Lynch screaming in his ears and him having to deal with the enemy and the situation all at once, and then suddenly they were all five dead, except for Lynch.
Army cook Shoshana Johnson
Here is more from Miller.
Miller, meanwhile, spotted an Iraqi dump truck and raced toward it, hoping to commandeer it and drive the survivors to safety. As he ran, he could see the smoky tails of rocket-propelled grenades sail past him. Bullets kicked up dirt on the road.
Miller reached an earthen berm just across the road from the Iraqi truck. Then he noticed a group of Iraqis in front of the dump truck, some 50 feet away, setting up a mortar tube. A rocket-propelled grenade slammed into the far side of the berm, and Miller rolled out the other side. When he crawled back inside and peered over the top, he could see an Iraqi ready to drop a mortar round into the tube.
But Millers rifle was jammed. A spent round would eject, but the new round would only go halfway into the chamber. Miller slammed his palm into a lever on the side of the gun, and the bullet slid into place. He raised his rifle and fired. The Iraqi collapsed in a heap before he could fire the mortar round.
Riley, in a telephone interview from Aberdeen Proving Ground where he is now an instructor at the Ordnance Center and School, said Miller was behind a berm returning fire while the berm was being shot at. ... Hed pop up and fire. Bullets and RPG rounds were smacking into everything all around.
Miller said he was never scared or even thinking about what he was doing, just reacting. His Army training returned: how to breathe, aim and squeeze the trigger. The only thing I was thinking was if they dont get a mortar loaded, they cant blow them up, Miller said.
The remaining Iraqis jumped up and started firing their rifles at Miller, all missing. But their attack was never coordinated by having one take on Miller while the others launched mortar rounds at the remaining Americans.
One by one, Miller, by his count, shot seven Iraqis as each popped up and tried to work the mortar. After it was over, a large bruise spread over Millers palm from the constant slapping against the rifle.
When the mortar pit fell silent, Miller turned around and saw an armed man running along a tree line behind him, shielded by two women. He shot toward them, and they all folded into the ground.
Then the two women suddenly rose and dashed away, with the man lagging behind. Miller aimed once more and squeezed the trigger. The man fell forward. It was Millers final shot of the war.
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