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Memorial services held for Airman Johnson
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members of the of 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight here carry Senior Airman Daniel Johnson, their fallen brother in arms, to a hearse here Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Airman Johnson, an EOD technician, was killed in the line of duty Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010, in Hendu, Kandahar, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Longoria)
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Vandenberg holds memorial service for fallen Airman

Posted 10/14/2010   Updated 10/14/2010 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Steve Bauer
30th Space Wing Public Affairs

10/14/2010 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- A memorial service was held for a fallen Vandenberg Airman at the Base Chapel Oct. 13.

Hundreds of people filled the chapel's pews to pay their final respects to Senior Airman Daniel Johnson, a 30th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician who was killed in action Oct. 5 west of Kandahar, Afghanistan, by an improvised explosive device.

"Dan died not just defending the United States, but also the entire world against those who use terror to impose their will upon others," said Col. Richard Boltz, 30th Space Wing commander. "He died doing a job he enjoyed and serving a country he loved so that others may live in peace and freedom."

Airman Johnson joined the Air Force in November 2006. After completion of technical training, he was assigned to Vandenberg in October 2007. Since his enlistment, he has been deployed overseas twice. He served a seven-month tour of duty in Iraq in 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan in August 2010.

"Dan was the epitome of an EOD tech," said Lt. Col. Timothy Dodge, 30th CES commander. "He was known for his expertise and the training of others."

Airman Johnson received three medals from the Afghanistan deployment including the Bronze Star with valor device, Air Force Combat Action Medal and the Purple Heart. The medals were presented to his family during the memorial service.

The medals were earned during an operation in which Airman Johnson's team met heavy resistance in the form of victim-operated improvised explosive devices arranged in a way to deny maneuver and defeat enemy forces. Airman Johnson used mine detection equipment to clear safe approaches and areas. His team engaged and defeated six improvised explosive devices and preformed two post-blast analyses, which provided valuable intelligence.

According to the Airman Johnson's Bronze Star citation, "Airman Johnson bravely approached and cleared an area heavily laden with improvised explosive devices and was single-handedly responsible for saving the life of an Afghan National Army Soldier who was injured by a concealed booby-trap by providing combat lifesaver care."

"He is an American hero - one who fought for his country and died for his country," said Colonel Dodge. "He really made a difference in the lives of others."

The loss of Airman Johnson has deeply affected Vandenberg and the surrounding communities. Vandenberg is offering support services to help people during this time. Here is a list of some of the installation's services that are here to help:

· The Airman and Family Readiness Center, 606-0039
· Mental Health Clinic, 606-8217
· Base Chapel, 606-5773
· Military One Source, 800-342-9647
· Child and Youth Behavioral Program (free and anonymous), 805-315-3852
· Crisis Line, 866-284-3743

10/15/2010 8:00:42 PM ET
I pray God Strengthen his family at this time. Many THANKS to Senior Airman Johnson for his valor and commitment to help keep our country safe.
Phadra, ApopkaFl
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