PHOENIX, AZ, US
U. S. Army
PFC, CO C, 1ST BN, 32ND INF REGT, 3RD BDE COMBAT TEAM, FORT DRUM, NY
05/27/2011, DIWAR, AFGHANISTAN
Army Private First Class John C. Johnson died May 27, 2011 of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. His unit was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom
Called Corey by friends and family, he grew up in the Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Wickenburg High School, but at age 16, he dropped out of school to work with his father operating heavy mining equipment. When he turned 18, Corey moved to Colorado to work in the oil fields and a rock mine before he joined the Army in February 2010. After completing training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to Fort Drum in July 2010. He was deployed to Afghanistan in March2011.
Corey came from a long line of eight men with military service ranging from World War I to him. All had been injured. Corey felt that he needed to serve and enlisted the help of Senator John McCain. Corey’s awards and decorations include the Army the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Corey wanted to make a better life for himself. He had a four year old daughter from a previous marriage and had gotten married again and was the affectionate father of two having adopted his wife’s daughter. Their new family was also expecting an addition. Cory is remembered for being strong, honest and loving. He was big and strong as a bull, but soft as a teddy bear as he easily put up with the teasing and antics of his seven sisters. He enjoyed his family and had a strong and caring relationship with his parents who now focus on the good times they all enjoyed with Corey. “I sure do love you with all my heart” he would tell his mother.
Corey would keep his pockets filled with candy for the Afghani children and was looking forward to an electric razor shave as his camp area had just had electricity restored. The razor his Dad sent to him was never received. While the war wasn’t talked about much with family, Corey did mention how difficult it was to see fellow soldiers lost.