WOODBURY — Washington County Library is asking residents to share the joy of reading with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues by reading and talking about the library’s “One County, One Book” reading selection for January, “Still Standing: The Story of Ssg. John Kriesel” by John Kriesel as told to Jim Kosmo.
When Kriesel lost his legs and two buddies in a roadside bomb explosion, he was not expected to survive. Kriesel died three times on the operating table. But a lot of miracles, starting with a few soldiers who refused to let him die in Iraq, ripped Kriesel from the grip of death and sent him on to four hospitals, 35 surgeries and months of recovery and rehabilitation.
Medical miracles put Kriesel’s 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 another war story. It is the story of an ordinary young man who overcame extraordinary challenges with help from others, including many strangers, and emerged stronger and more in love with his country, his wife, his children and ultimately, his own life.
In 2010, Kriesel was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. The legislator was anything but a quiet freshman in his first session challenging even his own party and frequently speaking his mind.
“Kriesel’s honesty is a breath of fresh air at the Capitol,” declared the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Kriesel lives with his wife Katie and sons Elijah and Brody in Cottage Grove.
Residents can participate in the One County, One Book program in a variety of ways.
Read the book. Copies are available for loan at all Washington County Library branches.
Attend a library book club meeting. Many of the library’s book clubs will be discussing “Still Standing” at one of their winter meetings. Check the library’s web pages for locations, dates and times.
Share comments on the Library’s Facebook page:Washington County (MN) Library.
Meet the author at 7 p.m. Jan. 29. Adults and teenagers are invited to hear the author speak and answer questions at the R. H. Stafford Library in Woodbury.
The One County, One Book project is sponsored by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.