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Platoon Leader in 3rd Stryker Brigade Dies from IED in Afghanistan on Wednesday

Lt. David A. Johnson of Horicon, WI, arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in August 2011. It was his first deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

First Lt. David A. Johnson of Horicon WI, died Wednesday in the Kandahar province in Afghanistn after encoutering an improvised explosive device while conducting a dismounted patrol, according to the Department of Defense.

He was 24 years old.

Johnson was a platoon leader assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at JBLM.

According to unit records, Johnson was commissioned in 2010 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He is a graduate of Evangel University, Springfield, Mo.

In 2011 he attended the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Benning, GA. He arrived at JBLM in August 2011 and was assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The unit deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December. It was Johnson’s first deployment.

First Lt. Johnson’s civilian and military education includes a Bachelor's of Science from Evangel University, Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course, Combatives level 1 and 2 and the Stryker Brigade Combat Team Leaders Course.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Overseas Service Bar.

The JBLM military and civilian community extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of 1st Lt. Johnson.

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Family Statement:

Andrew and Laura Johnson and their children Michael, Matthew and Emily would like to honor their son and brother David with the following official statement:

“We are very proud of our son. He is a hero. He first was a man of God. He has been a strong leader at Mayville High School, at Evangel University and to the men in his unit. David had no fear of adversity; he lived life to the fullest. There are no regrets. He is an American hero. We love him very much and miss him very much.”

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Part of a letter from Lt. Col. (Ret) Kirby A. Hanson, who was David’s ROTC Commander in Springfield.

“David was an outstanding cadet in every aspect of military training…He was destined to serve in the Infantry and I was certain he would excel…Aside from the Army life, David was a kind, well mannered, fun young man.”

Editor's Note: This information was provided by the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs Department.

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