What about the name Shoshana Johnson? That name ring a bell?
I was shocked to discover Shoshana was captured POW the same time as Jessica, but not rescued for another 13-days.
Oh, and she's black, the first U.S. African American female POW. Below Shosana is being interviewed while in captivity in Iraq, March, 2003.
Lori Piestewa. Recognize that name? She was there with Jessica Lynch. She was captured, too!
But Lori died in captivity.
The first American woman to die in Iraq, the first-ever Native American woman to die in combat outside the U.S. (Below: Lori Piestewa-day she deployed to Iraq)
Lori believed in peace, but the army offered a good job when she had few options. It was a chance to build a better life for her children.
Jessica and Lori had become friends in basic training. They grew even closer when they were assigned to the 507th Maintenance Company as roommates at Fort Bliss. When the 507th got orders to the Middle East, Lori was not on the list to go because of an injury. Jessica's job as a quartermaster supply clerk was not a combat position, but she was nervous about heading to a war zone.
Lori had a premonition that Jessica or someone else in her unit would get into danger in Iraq, and she wanted to be there to help. She convinced her superiors to add her to the list for deployment.
Three days into the war-- disaster struck.
A U.S. Army investigation blamed the ambush of the 507th on navigational and human error, lack of rest and communication problems. Eleven soldiers died and nine were injured.
The unit had been on its way to Baghdad, the tail end of a 600-vehicle convoy. It’s heavier, slower vehicles bogged down in the sand, fell behind and got lost. After wandering through the desert for hours, the support group of clerks, repairmen and cooks took a wrong turn and stumbled into the city of Nasiriyah. They were surrounded and attacked by paramilitary forces loyal to Saddam Hussein.
Shoshana Johnson and Jessica Lynch still suffer from their physical and psychological wounds. In Shoshana's case, the army initially refused to treat her PTSD. Lori Piestewa's family was comforted to hear, like Jessica, she never fired her gun during the ambush. Lori died a Hopi, trying to help a friend.
Click here for the memorial fund for Lori Ann Piestewa's children. Scroll to the bottom of page 3.
U.S. military recruiters target people with few options for education and employment. They sign up black women in numbers highly disproportionate to white women. In Iraq and Afghanistan African American women have also died in higher numbers.
Do black and brown lives matter?