EL PASO, Tx - Fort Bliss soldiers wound up in the middle of gunfire and when it was over 11 soldiers were dead and 6 others were taken hostage.
"next thing you know i'm staring at an american boot right in front of my face, it was beautiful," said former prisoner of war Joseph Hudson in a 2005 interview with ABC-7. Hudson talked about the dramatic rescue that saved 6 soldiers from a nightmare.
Hudson was at the tail end of a 600 vehicle convoy. The 507th maintenance company usually consisted of heavier slow moving vehicles. The company fell behind and ended up taking a wrong turn. Iraq forces set up a road block and insued with an ambush that soldiers say lasted more than an hour.
Hudson recalls the confrontation.
"when they pulled me from the vehicle I lunged towards the guy and grabbed his weapon I managed to get two rounds off," said Hudson.
The ambush resulted in a hail of bullets. "Wizzin by your eye, by your ear, my helmet was knocked off several times," said Hudson.
Hudson was one of six soldiers taken hostage but some, wouldn't make it out alive.
"11 people in the convoy died," said El Pasoan and former POW Shoshana Johnson.
Johnson can't shake the horrific events that played out march 23rd, 2003.
"there were days were it feels like yesterday," said Johnson.
On other days she still feels the "physical" effects. "Insomnia, deep depression and flashbacks," said Johnson.
She says the impact has a reach beyond the battlefield. "It can take a toll not just on a soldier or the airman or the marine but their families also," said Johnson.
but Johnson tells ABC-7 she wouldn't let the trauma hold her back: "I've just had to learn to live with it," said Johnson.
Shoshana was the first female African American soldier to be taken hostage in a U.S led war.
The 507th maintenance company has since been dissolved at Ft. Bliss.