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Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel

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The April 4, 2013, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with retired Staff Sergeant John Kriesel, USA (ret.).

Program Date: April 4, 2013

Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC

Topic: Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel

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Staff Sergeant John Kriesel, USA (ret.) “was nearly blown to shreds by a 200 pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq, but battlefield angels in army uniforms kept him breathing long enough to reach a field hospital.  He died three times and was shocked back to life.  Somehow he survived through four hospitals, 35 surgeries and 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 part time host on KFAN Sports Radio and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.  He was elected to the House in 2010 after a vigorous campaign where he was told a Republican could not win in his district, never had.  He personally visited several thousand homes in all weather conditions and literally wore out the socket in one of his prosthetic legs. He won. 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.”  John Kriesel is a co-author of Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel.

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.”

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