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Still Standing: The Story of Staff Sergeant John Kriesel

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Staff Sergeant John Kriesel, USA (ret.) “was nearly blown to shreds by a 200 pound roadside bomb in Iraq, but battlefield angels in Army uniforms kept him breathing long enough to reach a field hospital.  He died 3 times & was shocked back to life.  Somehow he survived through 4 hospitals, 35 surgeries & months of recovery.  He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries, but it was the loss of two close friends that hurt the most.

Four years after his near-death experience in Iraq Kriesel became a civilian marketing employee with the Minnesota Army National Guard and in 2012 was named Director of Veterans Affairs for Anoka County. He also is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.  After tours of duty in Kosovo and Iraq and a lengthy medical recovery Kriesel’s two sons wanted to spend more time with him and he chose not to run for re-election.” 

According to the book description of Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel, “When SSG John Kriesel lost his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion, no one expected him to survive. He died three times on the operating table. Miracles, a lot of miracles, starting with a few grunts who refused to let him die in Iraq, ripped the young warrior from the grip of death and sent him on to four hospitals, thirty-five surgeries, and months of recovery and rehabilitation. Medical miracles put his body back together, but it was an incredible confluence of angels at every step along the way that breathed life into his shattered body.

This is not just another war story. This is the story of an ordinary young man who overcame extraordinary challenges with a lot of help from others, including many strangers and he emerged stronger and more in love with his country, his wife, his children, and ultimately, his own life.”