Stephen F Johnson

Stephen F Johnson

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U.S. Marines

On October 6th, 2006, Corporal Brad Payne, Lance Corporal John Hale and Lance Corporal Stephen F. Johnson, all USMC, were in the Humvee together and all three died together that day.

Following is a letter that Stephen left to his family:

“Family, What’s up? You’re reading this cause I’m not coming back from Iraq. I signed into the Marines because I felt I had a job to do, more or less a duty that I felt I needed to do for our country. After September 11th, I felt I needed to go to war to protect our country but more importantly, for my family and friends. It’s a dangerous thing to go into war and fight for something that is 8,000 miles away.

But I felt it was something I needed to do. I choose not to further my education by going to college or getting a good-paying job, but I felt that it was more important to risk my life in defending the country that I love so much. You must always remember the boys that have died for our country. Old men start the wars but teenagers fight them. Always remember that. The average Marine is 19 years old, right out of high school. Never forget us and the sacrifices that we have made to sustain our great amount of liberty. We have been away from home for a great amount of time, not seeing our family and friends, and giving up our own liberties.

We, as Marines, know what we have to do for our country and to keep it safe. We know the cost of war and that Marines will die in combat. We are trained very well but are not invincible. All I ask is that you NOT forget me and my fellow Marines. When you think every now and then about your freedom, know that Marines and other military branches are there to protect that from anyone else trying to take it away.

This is the greatest country on the planet Earth and I’ll be damned before I let any terrorist take it [America] away from my family or friends. I did not think about myself when I signed into the Marines. I was thinking about my friends and family and their freedoms. If it takes my life to protect them then that’s what I have to do. People make sacrifices all the time, but it is the ones that make that ultimate sacrifice for their country that are the most honorable. It is the selflessness that makes a US Marine great. Do not forget your fallen Marines.

I love all you so much. You all know why I did this and why I made the choice. I wanted to keep my country free from terrorists and to help keep ya’ll safe. If it took my life to protect anyone’s life in the family then I would do it. If anyone’s life was to be taken I would have stepped in and substituted mine for theirs. It is an ultimate sacrifice that I was willing to make and I made it.I was destined to do this and do not regret any part of it.

All I wanted was for ya’ll to be safe….. and to live a carefree life without any worries of terrorists in the community. I may have not showed it all the time, but I love all you so much. I’m going to miss all you so much but will see all of you again in time.

I am looking down from Heaven… so be good! Hahaha.

By the way … Mom … remember when I was on pre-deployment leave at Mur’s…. that’s why I was always on the computer… I was writing this. But, I don’t want any of ya’ll to grieve over me but be happy because your son gave his life for his country that he loved so very much.

Mom, Dad, Philip, Eliza, Olivia, Mark, David, little Benjamin, and little Joanna…. I love all you so much!!!!! All of you meant the world to me. All I ask is to tell our story of us in battle fighting for our country… and that we did not die for nothing.


Love ya’ll…….

Stephen’s portrait is also located on Poster 2


8 Responses to “Stephen F Johnson”
  1. Melanie Klein says:

    love 2 U n all his family n friends n allwho knew n loved him Bless his Soul may he RIP knowing he did what he felt he must. A Very True Hero 2 the core.

  2. Melanie Klein says:

    U R Our Hero
    U did what u felt u needed 2 do 4 family n Country n will
    never B 4gotten.
    Heart breaks 4 his family n friends n all who knew n loved him.
    RIP. Soldier. Amen Blessings 2 all.

  3. Diana Fonseca says:

    To Stephen…I met your MoM tonight and she told me her story…your story and it broke my heart. I want you to know that you and your family will forever be in my prayers. I want to thank you for your ultimate sacrifice and know that it will NEVER be forgotten❤
    May God bless you, your family, friends & loved ones and I know you are guarding those gates of Heaven. From one Mom to yours my son Thank you.
    RIP Marine. Semper Fi ❤ Salute❤

  4. Lynn Johnson says:

    Thank you for the comments! I am Stephen’s mom and they are greatly appreciated. Stephen was a Christian here on Earth and he now resides with Jesus Christ in Paradise. The LORD has turned my grief into anticipation for the day when I will see Stephen again never having to say goodbye, all tears wiped away. I do not grieve as those who have no hope…as Scripture states.
    [2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB] “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?”

  5. Debbie (Austin’s mom) says:

    When I see this I feel like Steve-O left just yesterday. It comes up on days of “memorial” (like Veteran’s Day) or I just think of him and seek it out. It rips my guts out every time. I’ll never forget. I’ll always remember the little boy who ran around our house with Austin on Tall Pine Dr. I’ll always remember coming to hug him and tell him how proud I was just before he was deployed. The smiles sometimes outweigh the tears when I see him as a boy calling me “Ms. Debbie”. Other times I sink into despair asking “why him?”. I’ll never forget the last goodbye. When I got out of my car the crew (your boys, best friends) came to reassure me. “You’re doing good. You can do this”. I asked them how Lynn, your “real” mom, would ever be okay again. She seemed stronger than I that day because I felt so weak. But I certainly know that she wasn’t so inside.
    I still miss you, Steve-O. This world lost you too soon. You just hang out there and enjoy singing with the angels til we meet again. Much love and respect.. to you and your entire family.

  6. Lou Shababy says:

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. I attended Stephen’s service with my son many years ago. I want you know that we have not forgotten Stephen or you. I wasn’t able to tell you then but I wanted to thank you for raising a young man who loved his family and his country so much that he put them ahead of himself. A man who was willing to risk his life for the protection of his family, his friends, his country, for me. I will keep Stephen in my thoughts, and your family in my prayers.

  7. Ethan Balman says:

    God bless your family and may God’s grace sustain the ones left behind brother. Rest in peace, we have the watch.

  8. Skip Martin says:

    I just met Stephens mom at the Flowery Branch Post Office. She had her Marine Mom sweatshirt on. I had already noticed her USMC license plate as I served 1967-1971. She told me about his letter and I looked it up. I know this could have been me 50 years ago. Several of my friends from boot camp died with in months of arriving in Vietnam. I am sorry any family has to endure this but someone has to. The price we pay for freedom.

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