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Evangel graduate, former commander of the ROTC Bear Battalion, killed in Afghanistan today


The Evangel University family is sad to announce the loss of a 2010 graduate, First Lt. David Johnson, killed in action earlier today (1.25.2012) in Afghanistan.

His home was in Mayville, Wisc., and he is survived by his parents and three siblings. Johnson was 24 years old.

“Our entire community joins David’s family in mourning the loss of this outstanding young man who distinguished himself as a student and as a campus leader,” said President Robert H. Spence.

“David was a leader in the ROTC program which Evangel shares with Missouri State University, serving as the commander of the Bear Battalion during his senior year,” Spence added.

Last fall, Johnson had been given command of an infantry platoon in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division. The 2ID is the “Indianhead Division,” which is based at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

He was deployed on Dec. 14, 2011.

“David was a well-respected leader among our students, and he was highly regarded by his peers in the ROTC,” said John Plake, campus pastor at Evangel.

“He also served as an assistant director of our CROSSwalk campus ministries, in a role that helped many students find ways to serve others in our community, in the love of Christ.”

Last campus visit was Veterans Day

Johnson was most recently in Springfield when he appeared as a special guest during the Veterans Day chapel service at Evangel University on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011.

During that special chapel service, Evangel’s Campus Pastor John Plake remarked, “It is good to remind ourselves that the freedom we enjoy isn’t free. It has cost many families a great deal—and it has cost some everything. Our veterans, reservists, active duty military personnel and military families deserve our thanks.”


View the Press Release from the army Joint Base Lewis-McChord, providing statements to honor David from his family and his ROTC commander in Springfield, Lt. Col. (Ret) Kirby A. Hanson.

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