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Army Spc. Jason M. Johnston

Died December 26, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

24, of Albion, N.Y.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Dec. 26 in Arghandab, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Family says he felt that he had to serve

The Associated Press

While serving in an explorers program at the volunteer fire department in Albion, N.Y., Jason Johnston earned a reputation as hardworking and responsible.

That reputation followed him when he joined the Army in 2006.

“Johnston was the type of guy that did the job with little complaint, comment or fanfare — but always did the job well,” said the soldier’s commander, Capt. Adam Armstrong.

Johnston’s second deployment to Afghanistan was delayed, but the infantry paratrooper was eager to rejoin his unit.

“He fought to get over here with us this time just so he could fight for his country again and to be with his brother in arms,” friend and fellow soldier Spc. Joshua Leeson wrote from Afghanistan.

Johnston, 24, died Dec. 26 in Arghandab after his unit was bombed. He was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

Johnston attended Albion High School but didn’t graduate. He earned his GED before joining the Army.

“Jason always wanted to be in the military,” his family said in a statement. “He said he felt a strong sense of duty to serve. He had been planning to apply to Syracuse University after his term in the Army.”

He leaves behind his parents, Bradley and Jeanine Johnston.

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