Still Standing is John Kriesel’s story – growing up in Minnesota, joining the National Guard, being deployed to Iraq. There he confronts death in Fallujah when an IED takes his legs. John’s story (as told by others) takes us through the rapid medical response to save his life. John’s story is about survival. John’s story is about recovery. John’s story is about his support systems, his community.
A Vietnam veteran told me “Life is not about legs.” This is also true in John’s story.
We’ve all heard horror stories of obtaining a US passport. Just read Katie’s (John’s wife) account of getting her US passport so she could go to Germany and be with John. Incredible! This event brings joy to your heart.
Still Standing is a recommended read for anyone interested in the stories of sacrifice by American soldiers in Iraq.
Reviewed by: John R. R. Faulkner (2011)
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.