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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Army Sgt. 1st Class Johnny R. Polk

Died July 25, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom


39, of Gulfport, Miss.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died July 25 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by an anti-tank grenade on July 23 in Kirkuk, Iraq.

NCO was on third Iraq deployment

The Associated Press

Johnny R. Polk was a loving father, a volunteer firefighter and an athlete, but he always found time for a little fishin’.

“He disappeared for days at a time and go fishing,” said his son, Xavier Jones, 18. “And then he’d come home with fish and put them in a tank, a regular fish tank.”

Polk, 39, of Gulfport, Miss., died July 25 from wounds suffered in a grenade attack in Kirkuk. He was assigned to Camp Casey in South Korea. His final tour in Iraq was the third of his 17-year military career.

“He was keen as well as humble,” said Sgt. Thomas Lathrop, who served with Polk. “He had a swagger about him that separated him from the rest and an insurmountable vivacity that could never be ignored.”

Other soldiers said Polk was a fine leader who knew how to bring out the best in others.

“Whenever anyone needed guidance he was there,” said 1st Lt. Jaciel Guerrero.

He is survived by his wife, Janis, and children Kenney, Deandra, Alvin, Xavier and Mary.

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