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Report: Fallen Soldier May Have Been Kidnapped By ISIS Before Death In Niger
Johnson, 25, was one of four soldiers killed Oct. 4 after they were hit by gunfire near the village of Tongo Tongo. Three of the soldiers’ bodies were recovered quickly, but Johnson’s was not for nearly 48 hours.
Nigerien sources said that Johnson’s body —which was found in bushes about half a mile from his fellow troops two days later — had been shot and his hands roped together, suggesting he had been captured.
Johnson’s death, already surrounded by questions about how he had become separated from the other troops, also drew national attention last month when President Donald Trump’s condolence call to his widow was criticized by his family and Rep. Frederica Wilson, Democrat from Miami Gardens, as insensitive and callous.
The Pentagon declined to comment to CBS News. A U.S. official told Voice of America that there was “no indication” that Johnson was ever in the custody of hostile forces.
Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, were also killed in the attack.
Sgt. Johnson was laid to rest last month in Cooper City; nearly 1,000 mourners attended.
Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wrigh, Sgt. La David T. JohnsonPhotos via DoD
During the service, six of his fellow soldiers folded the American flag draped over his casket and presented it with two other folded flags to his widow and two children. An honor guard fired three volleys from rifles before Taps warbled over the crowd.
Sgt. Johnson grew up in Miami Gardens. Before he joined the Army in January 2014, it was where he found a second family, and where he met his childhood sweetheart and future wife, Myeshia.
And it was where — before he was killed Oct. 4 in the ambush — he planned to return and raise his son and daughter, as well as another baby girl, due in January. He had been sent on his second deployment to Africa in August.
©2017 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.