Lesbian servicemember and two other soldiers killed in AfghanistanOnline Only, Top Highlights Saturday, October 6th, 2012
The Department of Defense (DOD) announced Oct. 3 that three soldiers were killed supporting “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan. The three soldiers were identified as Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV, 25, of Wilmington, N.C.; Sgt. Jeremy F. Hardison, 23, of Maysville, N.C. and Sgt. Donna R. Johnson, 29, of Raeford, N.C. The announcement stated, “They died Oct.1, in Khost, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest while they were on dismounted patrol. The soldiers were assigned to the 514th Military Police Company, 60th Troop Command, Winterville, N.C.”
Sgt. Johnson was later identified as a lesbian when the The American Military Partner Association posted a note on their Facebook page:
“In memory of Army Staff Sgt. Donna R. Johnson who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our nation in a suicide bomber attack while on patrol in Afghanistan, on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Staff Sgt Johnson is survived by her wife Tracy Dice.
In days to come, the American Military Partner Association will be sharing more of the story of Donna & Tracy and their commitment to each other and our nation. We ask for your continued thoughts, prayers, and privacy for Tracy and her family during this difficult time.”
According to The Army Times a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in Afghanistan. The three died after the insurgent detonated a suicide vest while the guardsmen were on patrol.
A Taliban spokesman contacted Western media to claim responsibility shortly after the attack.
“We are still grieving for these soldiers, their families and their unit members still carrying on with their mission,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Lusk, adjutant general of the North Carolina National Guard. “They were the embodiment of citizen soldiers who put everything on hold to go in harm’s way for all of us. They will be remembered and sorely missed.”
Johnson, 29, joined the guard in August 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in 2007.
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