ALABAMA PASTOR, FAMILY MOURN LOSS OF SON
IN IRAQ'S LIBERATION
by Allie Martin
PFC Howard Johnson II, 21, of Mobile, Alabama
Killed In Action, March 23, 2003
Operation Iraqi Freedom
507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, Fort Bliss, Texas
Alabama pastor and his wife are mourning the death of their son who was one of
the 507th Maintenance Company soldiers ambushed and killed in Iraq.
First Class Howard Johnson, Jr., was among the first Americans killed in the war
to liberate Iraq. He was one of the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company soldiers
ambushed and killed in March.
dad, Pastor Howard Johnson, Sr., is pastor of Truevine Missionary Baptist Church
in Prichard, Alabama. The pastor says while he believes the war in Iraq could
have been settled in a different way, he has the assurance that his son is with
his Lord and Savior.
Johnson says he talked with his son on the phone from Kuwait City days before
never heard him any happier than he was then -- and he had a way that when he is
excited about something, you could feel it and you could see it in him,"
Johnson says. "And even though I couldn't see his face physically, I could
see it in the spirit as I listened to him on the phone. He was excited about
treading on new ground that he had never experienced before."
says his son understood his duty to his country. "He accepted that he had
to go," the grieving father says. "I don't remember if he said it was
a 'mission' or a 'job,' but he said 'I have to do it -- and I'm ready to go and
62-year-old pastor said he talked with his son about getting a right
relationship with God and being sure about it. He says his son assured him that
he had a relationship with Christ.