STILL STANDING. STILL SMILING.
On December 2, 2006, the vehicle Kriesel and four of his comrades were riding in encountered a 200 lb. Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The blast killed two of Kriesel’s best friends and he was severely injured, losing both legs, suffering numerous broken bones and internal injuries. He was transported to two field hospitals in Iraq where he died three times on the operating table before doctors saved his life. He woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center after an 8-day medically induced coma where he learned about the death of his two comrades and the severity of his injuries.
The guy who wasn’t supposed to survive and was told he probably would be in a wheelchair the rest of his life walked out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center after nine months. His transition from military to civilian life offered many challenges, but his amazing support system, positive attitude and sense of humor allowed him to bounce back stronger than ever.
In 2010 he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives but decided not to seek re-election when his family said they wanted to spend more time with him. He is director of veterans services for a County in Suburban Minneapolis, MN, a part-time personality on KFAN Radio, motivational speaker, and co-author of the book, “Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel,” winner of 8 national book awards.
A sought after motivational speaker, John Kriesel travels throughout the country sharing his story, inspiring and motivating others. Kriesel’s intensely positive attitude infects every person he presents to, from cub scouts to senior corporate executives as he relays lessons learned overcoming extreme tragedy.
John Kriesel somehow survived a roadside bombing that claimed his legs and two buddies. Although his story has been often told in the media, it's still hard not to feel something as you read this all-too-real tale of tragedy and hope.
In "Still Standing" written with Jim Kosmo), Kriesel's account of what happened that day -- Dec. 2, 2006 -- puts the reader right inside that armored Humvee, right in Kriesel's Army boots. You don't have to have served near Fallujah to know what Kriesel experienced. It's all here -- and in mind-blowing detail.
STILL STANDING - BOOK TRAILER
"John Kriesel's inspirational message to our top sales team was touching, funny and full of descriptive stories and personal insights"
John presented his story to a group of business leaders and Minnesota Wild clients. The audience was completely engaged and inspired. Even weeks later, attendees are still talking about how authentic and powerful his message was.
“John’s story had me simultaneously wiping tears from my eyes while smiling and laughing. A truly inspiring reminder that life is to be cherished, life is short, and life is good.”
“Thanks so much for your inspirational visit to Target and sharing your message. I am so thankful for people like you who can take a horrific event and share what matters most."