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Vancouver Soldier Jeremiah Johnson Put to Rest With Patriot Guard at Attention
Mourners packed a Hazel Dell, Wash. church Friday to mourn the loss of what many will remember as the boy next door.
The Patriot Guard leads the procession to the gravesite Saturday.
Photos courtesy: iraqwarheroes.org
Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away
(VANCOUVER, Wash. ) - Army Spc. Jeremiah Johnson, a Prairie High School baseball star from Vancouver, Wash., died Friday in Germany 10 days after suffering critical injuries when a Humvee rolled over into a canal in Baghdad. Jeremiah was born August 18th, 1983, and died January 5th, 2007.
"Bless his heart, we were with him to the end," said Johnson's mother, Elizabeth Johnson of Vancouver, in a telephone call from Germany. "At about 1:52 PM here, our time, Jeremiah passed away." The death came at 3:52 AM AST Friday. He was 23.
Saturday, the Patriot Guard escorted the procession with the Bag Pipe leading the mass of friends and loved ones to the gravesite.
Johnson is the 12th soldier from the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, who has died since the unit arrived in Iraq in the fall. At least 45 others have been injured.
Soldiers from another Humvee crew pulled Johnson from the water after he was submerged for more than 10 minutes Dec. 26th.
Johnson suffered critical brain damage from being deprived of oxygen but survived to be flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where his parents and wife watched over him night and day for more than a week.
Cpl Jeremiah Johnson
Two of Johnson's buddies also were killed when the Humvee crashed during a night patrol with Johnson standing in the turret as the gunner. The other soldiers killed were Johnson's best friend, 21-year old Army Spc. Joseph A. Strong, of Lebanon, Ind., who died en route to the hospital in Germany, and 21-year old Spc. Douglas Logan Tinsley, of Chester, S.C. who died at the scene of the accident.
Army authorities continue to investigate the crash but said they believe no hostile fire was involved.
According to icasualties.net, researchers have recorded over 25,000 American military casualties, a grim milestone in the cost of the Iraq conflict. Over 3,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed; 22,000 injured; 245 other Coalition soldiers, mostly British, have also died, as well as at least 50,000 Iraqi civilians.
Jeremiah Johnson is survived by his mother, Elizabeth; his wife, Gale; two children, Isaiah, 4, and Rya, 2; and his father, David Johnson of Vancouver. He also is survived by four siblings: Naphtali, 21; Lauralee, 20; Zachary, 17, and Tim, 15. He is survived by many other relatives, several of them in the Vancouver area.
A memorial service for Jeremiah Johnson was held at 1:00 PM Friday at Vancouver First Church of God. The graveside service was Saturday at 1:00 PM at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, also in Vancouver. Iraqwarheroes.org was on hand to capture these poignant photographs.
A trust fund for Cpl. Johnson's wife and children has been set up at Washington Mutual. Donations in his name can be made at any branch.
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