Sunday, June 26, 2011

Army Pfc. Dylan J. Johnson

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Dylan J. Johnson, 20, of Tulsa, Okla.

Pfc Johnson was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died June 26, 2011 in Diyala province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Russell J. Proctor.

Family members of a fallen Tulsa soldier are grieving.

Army Spec. Dylan Johnson, 20, was killed in action in Iraq Sunday.

Dylan went to Iraq as a Private First Class. Thursday, he was promoted to specialist and received a Bronze Star.

"I've never been more proud of my soldier," said Jeff Johnson, Dylan's father.

Dylan served in Iraq for a short 25 days before he was killed in an attack Sunday.

"He was driving and the sergeant was in the vehicle at the time and from what the army told us it was an improvised explosive device. It was most likely thrown and they died instantly," said Jeff.

He says it still doesn't feel real. Dylan's mother is too upset to talk about it. They were flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be there when Dylan's body arrived on U.S. soil.

"Really, he was doing what he loved to do more than anything, you know. I can't say the same thing, everybody's gotta die at some point, I can't think of a better time than when you are truly happy," said Jeff.

He said Dylan wanted to be in the military from the time he was a little boy.

"He dressed up like an Army man for, I don't know, five or six Halloweens in a row," said Jeff.

His family says he was lighthearted and a comedian, even overseas.

"I got a recent message from one of his buddies there and they're still finding remnants of practical jokes that he played on them. That was just the type of guy he was, he enjoyed life to it's fullest," said Jeff.

Jeff talked to Dylan for the last time Friday. He says his life changed forever when Army representatives knocked on his door Sunday night, but he says he truly could not be more proud of Dylan and his sacrifice.

"When your kid is born, he belongs to the parents. When he gets older he belongs to your parents and your friends. And when they go into the Army they belong to the Army. But when they die, they belong to all of us," said Jeff.

He will be laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery later this month.

Army Pfc. Dylan J. Johnson was killed in action on 6/26/11.

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