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(Posted 6-24-04)
Contact: Sean Olson, 336-334-5371

Former Prisoner of War Shoshana Johnson to Speak at UNCG

GREENSBORO – Retired U.S. Army Specialist and former prisoner of war Shoshana Johnson will visit The University of North Carolina at Greensboro this fall for a speech sponsored by the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Johnson, who along with Jessica Lynch and other soldiers was captured and held prisoner after an Iraqi ambush, will speak at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 7, at Aycock Auditorium on the UNCG campus.  The event is free and open to the public. Johnson will speak about her experiences as a POW in Iraq followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

She will be available to meet with the media from 6 to 6:50 p.m. prior to the event in the second floor conference room of Aycock Auditorium.

Johnson’s visit to the university has been organized by multicultural affairs as part of programs highlighting human rights.

“The Office of Multicultural Affairs is promoting the theme of human rights to bring awareness to the issues of inequality and to provide a forum to talk about some of these issues,” said Audrey Daniel, director of multicultural affairs at UNCG. “Shoshana is important because she is a POW from Iraq, and because she has an important story to tell.”

Now 31 and living in El Paso, Texas, Johnson joined the U.S. Army in 1998.  As a food service specialist, she received orders to deploy to Iraq in February 2003, along with the rest of her unit, the 507th Maintenance Company, 522 Battalion, 11th Brigade.  On March 23, 2003, while part of a convoy, Johnson and other soldiers were ambushed near the Iraqi city of an-Nasiriyah.  During the ambush, Johnson was shot and she and others were taken prisoner.
During house raids in Samarra, Iraq, U.S. Marines rescued Johnson and six other POWs on April 13, 2003 – 22 days after she was captured.

Since her return to the United States, Johnson has elicited the attention of national and international media and retired from the Army with a temporary disability, honorable discharge.  The U.S. Army has given her the Good Conduct Medal, the U.S. Army Service Ribbon, the Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal. She has also received the National Defense Ribbon.

A picture of Shoshana Johnson is available and can be e-mailed upon request.

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