Prisoner of war speaks at National POW/MIA Recognition Day event in Orlando

Trooper Steve asked to be emcee at Dr. Phillips Center

ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. Army Specialist Shoshana Johnson was the first Black woman to be taken as a prisoner of war in American history back in 2003 when her battalion was ambushed in Iraq, serving among members of the Army’s 507th Maintenance Company from Fort Bliss who were killed.

Johnson shared her story Friday in front of dozens of people, including Orlando officials, as part of a city event at the Dr. Phillips Center to observe National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

Johnson said she and other members of her company were held for 22 days before they were rescued by the U.S. Marine Corps.

“This is about telling our story. There’s always the notion of what it’s like to be a prisoner of war, or even for your family to list you as Missing in Action,” Johnson said.

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According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 80,000 American service personnel are missing from previous conflicts and 38,000 are estimated to be recoverable.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer presented a proclamation Friday in honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

Friday’s Trooper Steve On Patrol was a tease to this event, as Steve had been asked by the city to participate as master of ceremonies.

He went live outside of the Dr. Phillips Center where he chatted about the importance of remembering our POWs and MIAs and about understanding what it takes to bring them home and keep their memories alive.

Check out a video of that preview at the top of this story.

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About the Authors:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!