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Joseph Dennis Johnson was born May 7, 1986 in Flint, Michigan. He graduated from Carman Ainsworth High School in 2004 and attended Lake Superior State University. He became a US Army soldier in 2006.
Joe was an adventure. Mischievous and fun loving. From the time he was little, you never knew what was coming next. He once said of himself "I live life to the fullest. You only live once, make the best of it because the only things in life you regret are the risks that you didn't take!" Anyone can tell you that Joe enjoyed life, laughter, and his family. You can't talk about him without laughing. He loved the outdoors, practical jokes, his sweatpants and slippers, and just having fun. When asked what his favorite color was one day, he replied, "Plaid".
After basic training, Joe received training in many different areas. He became an Airborne Combat Engineer (Rough Terrain) and was trained in identifying and destroying IED's, both manually and in the use of a specialized robot. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 161st Combat Engineers in December 2009 as Counter-IED and Route Clearance Patrol. He was a team leader, medic, and volunteered for every mission. He worked with many of the armed forces from other countries and was one of a select few chosen to teach the Afghan Army the skills in which he was trained. He believed in his job and said that for every bomb he found and disarmed, someone's life was saved. He enjoyed the Afghan people, especially the children. He loved his fellow soldiers, and they loved him. "His leadership, his laughter, and his light will be missed", "Joe was the rare breed who stepped forward when most stepped back" were just a few statements made by two of his commanders. He was a courageous soldier and a hero to his family and friends. A real "GI Joe".
Joe was Killed In Action in Kunduz, Afghanistan on June 16, 2010. He received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Action Badge among several other medals, coins, and commendations.
You make my heart smile buddy.....Love, Mom
Anger. Righteous Anger. The chaos of emotions spilling out of me I can’t begin to describe or explain. Do you see the beautiful laughing children with Joe? Eleven years have gone by and they have become adults. Are they now in fear for their lives? Can they get to safety? Did they believe and trust in the promises made? Those kids were precious to him. He brought smiles to their faces. He loved them, spent time with them. He paid for their lives, our lives.. With.His.Own. No surrender. No defeat. No one left behind. To our leadership…. We are the United States of America. Act like it.