The country's first black female POW, she has never been in the limelight to the degree Lynch has been. "I still got to pay the mortgage, make the car payment. I'm not Kim Kardashian," she says. "Every once in a while I do get a speaking engagement and that affords me certain luxuries for my daughter," Jenelle, 12.
Johnson completed studies in culinary arts in May and now is studying health science with a culinary concentration at the University of Texas at El Paso. Johnson battles depression and PTSD and says, "I hope to be 'normal,' but it's a work in progress. Just because we leave Iraq physically, some of us are still mentally there."
She is in contact with all the former POWs and also keeps in close touch with Melissa Coleman, who spent 33 days in captivity during the Gulf War in 1991.
"There are very few people who understand what it was like for me. My fellow POWs are those individuals. I can tell them anything and they understand," Johnson said. "My connection to them keeps me more grounded."