1st LT. MICHAEL E. JOHNSON – U.S. Marine CorpsHometown / City: Virginia Beach, VA
Date of Death: Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)
Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
Rank: 1st Lt.
Unit: 3rd Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force Birth: Mar. 30, 1984
Virginia Beach City
Death: Sep. 8, 2009
Marine 1st Lt Johnson was assigned to 7th Communications Battalion, 3rd Marine Headquarters Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan. He was ordered to take his team to a small village of Ganjgal where the leader had requested their presence. This appears to have been a set up, as the insurgents ambushed them with overwhelming odds. Johnson was wounded and was being attended by a naval medical corpsman when they were both killed. Mike was always a hard worker. During his high school years, he held down jobs at surf shops, restaurants and pools. While still in school, he visited relatives that lived in Oregon and he loved it. In his own words, “Man, there are no bugs or humidity out there – I’m going back there to live!” And he did. Mike graduated in 2002 from Hickory High School in Chesapeake, Virginia and then moved to Oregon where he attended Oregon State University. While attending OSU, he spent several summers in the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia. He also met his future wife, Durinda, at OSU. When he graduated from OSU in 2006, Mike was commissioned as a second lieutenant and arrived in Okinawa on January 9, 2008. As a platoon commander, he was deployed to Afghanistan on July 23, 2009. His personal awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. He was awarded posthumously, a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and NATO Meritorious Service Medal. Mike loved nature and enjoyed hiking, camping and rafting. He was a born leader – a rare combination of discipline, motivation, strong work ethics and the ability to make friends easily. Mike’s mottos were SEMPER FIDELIS (Always Faithful) and CARPE DIEM (Seize the Day!)Burial:
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.