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 touches from cub scouts to senior corporate executives as he relays lessons learned overcoming extreme tragedy.
The host organization is required to cover all travel expenses (food, housing, transportation and speaker fees) for events outside of the St. Paul/Minneapolis metropolitan area. A wireless, hand-held microphone is preferred, but we will adapt to your system. John does not require A/V equipment, but Jim will use a projector when he speaks alone. Jim will bring a projector, but we ask that you provide a screen and access to a sound system. One 6-foot table with two chairs will be needed for book signings following the event.
Please complete the request form and/or contact . Fees for events outside of the Twin Cities Metropolitan area will be based on distance, travel, and time required.
John and Jim will sign and personalize books following your event. The individual purchase price is $19.95+ tax. Many groups wish to purchase books in advance. A discounted price of $15.00 is available for an advance purchase of 50 or more books. For more information contact Jim Kosmo at or (612) 281-0349.
FROM STILL STANDING
"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."