Kriesel to speak about ‘Still Standing’ at libraryA book chronicling the battleground experiences of John Kriesel, an Iraq war veteran who lost his legs in an attack while serving, was chosen for this year’s Washington County Library “One County, One Book” program.
By: Mike Longaecker, Woodbury Bulletin
Washington County library officials think an area soldier’s story is worth a read.
A book chronicling the battleground experiences of John Kriesel, an Iraq war veteran who lost his legs in an attack while serving, was chosen for this year’s Washington County Library “One County, One Book” program.
Kriesel, a Cottage Grove resident who also served as a state lawmaker from 2011-12 in the Minnesota House, will appear Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Woodbury’s R.H. Stafford library to discuss his book, “Still Standing: The Story of Ssg. John Kriesel.”
Joe Manion, public services manager for Washington County Libraries, said when One County, One Book organizers set out to pick a book for 2013, Kriesel’s story seemed like a perfect fit.
“We pick books that are close to the heart and resonate with people who live in Washington County,” Manion said.
“Still Standing,” – as told by Jim Kosmo – tells the story of Kriesel’s experience in Iraq, where he lost two friends along with his legs in a roadside bomb attack, and his remarkable recovery effort.
“This is not just another war story,” a Washington County news release states. “This is the story of an ordinary young man who overcame extraordinary challenges with a lot of help from others, including many strangers, and emerged strong and more in love with his country, his wife, his children, and ultimately, his own life.”
Manion said the book –copies of which are available at county libraries – chronicles not just the consequences of war, but the new life perspective Kriesel took away from the experience.
“It’s a very positive kind of story,” he said.
Other books selected for the program have touched on different issues, but drive toward what Manion called a common goal of engaging local readers with content that strikes close to home. For those reasons, he said the program steers away from literary classics and instead focus on other issues. In the past, those books have touched on social issues and historical aspects.
“We tend to pick books that have local connections and values,” he said.
Manion urged Washington County residents to pick up a copy of “Still Standing” at the library – it’s also available in e-book format – and to share it with neighbors, relatives and coworkers. He said program leaders are encouraging book-club discussions of “Still Standing” and for readers to post thoughts on the Washington County library system’s Facebook page.
The program’s message, Manion said, is that reading ‘can be a community thing.”
Kriesel and Kosmo will appear from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the R.H. Stafford Library.