U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 554-11
DOD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation New Dawn.
They died June 26, 2011 in Diyala province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Staff Sergeant Russell J. Proctor, 25, of Oroville, California; and
Private First Class Dylan J. Johnson, 20, of Tulsa, Oklahome
DIYALA PROVINCE, Iraq – 28 June 2011 – A Tulsa soldier has been killed in the line of duty during Operation New Dawn in Iraq.
The Department of Defense announced Private First Class Dylan J. Johnson, 20, died June 26 in Diyala province in Iraq.
Johnson and Staff Sergeant Russell J. Proctor, 25, were killed when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device.
They were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Johnson's world literature teacher, Ron Acebo remembers a kind and quiet student.
“Dylan possessed a kind spirit and was a bit reserved in my world literature class,” said Acebo. “We all ache for the loss of this young life and grieve with his family. As teachers, we all hold hopes and dreams for our students. We do not know what he could have achieved but we are humbled that he had made the supreme sacrifice for his country….and that is how he will be remembered.”
Several members of Johnson's family were en route to Dover Air Force Base Tuesday morning to accompany his body home.
A young soldier from Tulsa, known among his Army buddies as a fun, happy-go-lucky person, was killed in a grenade attack in Iraq on Sunday, his father said.
Army Private First Class Dylan Jeffrey Johnson, 20, had been in Iraq only 3 1/2 weeks when he was killed in a small town north of Baghdad, his father said. The soldier left for Iraq on Memorial Day in what was his first overseas deployment, and he arrived there June 2.
Johnson was attached to the 4th Squadron of the 9th Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas.
His father, Jeff Johnson, said he was notified about his son's death on Sunday night. He said his son was killed around noon local Iraq time on Sunday in the town of Jalula.
He said his son was driving an MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected) vehicle when an insurgent threw an armor-piercing grenade at the windshield. The explosion instantly killed his son and a Sergeant, Jeff Johnson said he was told.
“I had thought the glass on those were bulletproof, but I guess the grenade hit at just the right angle,” he said.
Johnson said his son was a scout and was working with other soldiers to shut down U.S. bases in Iraq and turn them over to the Iraqis after the pullout of all U.S. combat troops.
He said his son had driven some dignitaries to northern Iraq and was returning to his base when the attack occurred.
“I've been chatting with the guys in his platoon all day, and they all described him as one of the funniest guys they ever met,” Johnson said Monday. “He was that way – a natural comedian.”
Johnson said his son loved music and sports and “was a great marksman.”
Jeff Johnson said Dylan Johnson went to Jenks High School and decided to join the Army in 2009, largely inspired by the men on both sides of his family who served with the military during World War II and Korea.
Johnson said his son completed his basic training at Fort Knox, Kemtucky, and then was assigned to Fort Hood, where he remained until he deployed to Iraq.
The 46-year-old Johnson, who called Dylan Johnson his “best friend,” said he last saw his son in March.
“He knew they were going to Iraq, but he didn't know when. He was really excited about going over there,” Johnson said.
He and his son communicated through Facebook while Dylan Johnson was in Iraq.
Their last communication was Friday, when Johnson said his son complained about the heat in Iraq and said he was bored and wanted something to do that was more exciting.
Johnson said he will leave Tuesday for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where his son's body is expected to arrive from Kuwait.
He said funeral arrangements will be made in the Washington, D.C., area for his son's burial in Arlington National Cemetery. The date for the funeral has not been set.
In addition to his father, the soldier is survived by his mother, Joy Sehl; his stepmother, Lynda Johnson; two sisters, Alexandra Johnson, 15, and Kathryn Sehl, 8; and two stepsisters, Brittany Dinan, 16, and Brooke Dinan, 13. All are of Tulsa.
JOHNSON, DYLAN J
SPC US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/07/1990
DATE OF DEATH: 06/26/2011
BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 9736
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard