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El Paso native who was 1st woman POW in Iraq is featured speaker at veterans symposium

An El Paso native who was the first woman Prisoner of War during the war in Iraq was the featured speaker at this weekend’s seventh annual El Paso Veterans Symposium.

Shoshana Johnson, an Andress High School graduate, recounted for the group of veterans how she was taken prisoner during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was finally rescued weeks later along with seven other POWs.

Also sharing his story was Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston. He retired as the longest-serving person in that role, with a focus on solider and family-related matters.

The yearly symposium is organized by the Military Veteran Peer Network, which is a state funded program at the Emergence Health Network dedicated to supporting Texas Veterans and their families.

In addition to the keynote speakers, more than 40 area businesses and military resource agencies were on hand to meet with local veterans and their families

“This symposium is such a great event for our local military community and each year, it’s bigger and better,” said Kellie Franco, EHN’s military services coordinator. “Our goal is to make sure our military community is taken care of and knows who is available to assist them with whatever their needs might be.” ​​​​​​

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