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SPC Justin W Johnson

1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas
US Army

SPC Johnson's Act of Heroism

Justin was killed on April 10th, 2004. Justin was on patrol on April 10, about to go off duty. He was the gunner for the humvee he was traveling in. It was on Sat. night at about 11:45 pm in Baghdad and they were making their final run on the road they called "IED Alley". Their humvee was hit by the blast of one and Justin was killed instantly. His spine was cut in two by shrapnel. As it turned out, I was on my way home from Easter Sunday church service when I found the Army waiting for me at my house to inform me.

My Hero

Sept. 11, 2001 changed our lives more than most people could ever imagine. By the end of Nov. my youngest, Justin, had joined the Army on delayed entry program. He shipped out in Jan. 2002. By Nov. 2002, my oldest son, Josh, had lost his job and decided to join the Army, thanks to his little brother talking him into it. By May 2003, my husband, Joe, had re-enlisted in the military, this time Ga. National Guard, after a 22 year break. Joe had already done 4 years Army, out for 1 year, then 2 years Navy and then out for those 22 years. Justin and Joe were scheduled for deployment to Iraq at the same time but Joe injured his knee and required surgery. 10 days after Justin arrived in Iraq, he was killed when his humvee hit an IED. He was only 22 years old. My husband and I tried to talk Josh into allowing us to "pull some strings" and get him transferred to one of the Georgia bases. He was at Ft. Bragg, NC, attached to 7th Special Forces as one of their computer guys. He said no, his job was there. He deployed to Columbia 8 months after Justin was killed. He spent 8 months there with his unit. About 2 months after he returned to NC, my husband, Joe, left for Iraq. He spent 8 months there. 10 months Joe returned home, Josh left for Afghanistan with his unit for 8 months. 14 months after Josh returned home, Joe left again for 4 months to Iraq. My husband re-enlisted again in Jan. 2010 for another 6 years. As you can see, even though my family paid the ultimate price with the very first deployment, my soldiers have never quit. They did not use Justin as an easy out even though they could. Josh is now out of the Army but works for a company who does computers and satellites for the military special operational units. So to pick a hero out of my three men would be impossible. Justin stepped up first, ready to go to war but he was followed closely by the other two.


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