Veterans book club to host discussion

Emily Ambery \ Staff Writer

Nov. 4, 2021

The Veterans Book Club will host a book discussion that examines “the politics of war and the unforgettable story of a single mom and soldier who became an American hero.” 

On Friday, Nov. 19, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in Gumberg Library’s fourth-floor Popular Reading Room, the club will discuss chapters from Shoshana Johnson’s memoir, I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen–My Journey Home. 

The event is limited to 24 participants. A RSVP is required for the book discussion and can be done online.

Johnson is a U.S. military veteran who was a member of the 507th Maintenance Company in Iraq. She is the first Black female prisoner of war in the military’s history of the United States. Her memoir discusses her time in captivity in 2003, her rescue, post-traumatic stress and how she overcame the challenges of coming home.

The Veterans Book Club offers a space where student veterans and the campus community can gather to discuss books related to military and veteran life. 

“We aim to bring veterans of all eras together to talk about military experiences and returning to civilian life while providing an informal, supportive environment for discussion for the entire campus community,” said Kristy White, the Acquisitions and Licensing Librarian at Gumberg Library. “The readings relate in some way to military experiences or offer a veteran’s perspective.”

This event is co-hosted by the School of Nursing, the Office of Military and Veteran Students and Gumberg Library.

“To live within our Spiritan Mission, the book club and other programs are designed to foster an awareness and build community among military and veteran students, staff, faculty, their friends and family by engaging Duquesne’s campus in shared conversations,” White said. “It is important to do so that the campus community is educated about their unique culture and experience to have a better understanding of their unique role in the campus community.”

In the past, the Veteran’s Book Club has included discussions on books such as, The Honor was Mine by Elizabeth Heany, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger, and No Place to Hide by W. Lee Warren M.D.

Book Club discussions are hosted at least once a year. In addition, Gumberg library, in collaboration with the Office for Military and Veterans Students, also annually hosts a “Holiday Cards for Troops” event in November. This event allows faculty, staff and students to create and/or sign cards for our active troops stationed overseas. 

Digital versions of selected book chapters are available for participants on the Gumberg electronic reserves platform. The password will be sent to those who register. 

To learn more about the book club or the hosting organizations, visit and