- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Spc. Joseph D. Johnson
Died June 16, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
24, of Flint, Mich.; assigned to the 161st Engineer Support Company, 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne), 20th Engineer Brigade, 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died June 16 in North Kunduz, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed in the attack was Pfc. Gunnar R. Hotchkin.
Church filled for Johnson’s funeral
The Associated Press
FLINT, Mich. — Hundreds of people paid their respects June 26 at a funeral for Army Spc. Joseph D. Johnson, who was killed in fighting in Afghanistan.
Johnson, 24, of Mundy Township, Genesee County, and another soldier were killed when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device June 16 in Kunduz.
Some at the funeral wiped away tears as an honor guard carried Johnson’s casket, covered with the American flag, into the Central Church of the Nazarene in Flint. The processional was accompanied by a bagpipe.
The Flint Journal reported that the funeral included the reading of letters from friends and family who remembered Johnson’s sense of humor, daring stunts, dedication to beliefs and his love for his family.
“You always lived for a thrill,” said the letter from Johnson’s sister, Jennifer Pollak. “Sometimes being an idiot, but I loved you. I would shake my head, but smile. You weren’t afraid of anything, Joe. I admire your bravery, courage, passion and dedication.”
A letter from Johnson’s parents, Dennis and Teri Johnson, described raising Johnson as an adventure. He would do anything to take care of his parents, they wrote, and they’ll miss his smile and their long talks with him.
Johnson’s family was presented with the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Action Medal for Johnson’s service.
The Rev. W. Glen Gardner said Johnson loved his job of dismantling bombs.
“We’re here today to pay tribute and honor a man who couldn’t just join the Army, he had to give everything to the Army,” Gardner said. “So he would call you in the middle of a minefield and say, ‘Hey Mom, guess where I’m at?’ ”
Johnson was born in Flint and graduated from Carman-Ainsworth High School in 2004. He enlisted in the Army in 2006 and was deployed to Afghanistan in December. He was part of a unit from Fort Bragg, N.C.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm ordered flags in Michigan lowered to half-staff on June 28 in honor of Johnson.