Monday, January 29, 2007

Alan R. Johnson dies of injuries from I.E.D.

BISMARCK, N.D. -- A North Dakota native has been killed by roadside bomb in Iraq, his mother said.

Alan Johnson, 44, a major in the Washington National Guard, was killed Friday, said Mary Hanson, his mother, who lives in Sanborn, west of Valley City. The Department of Defense said Johnson died in Balad of wounds suffered when his vehicle struck an explosive in Muqdadiyah.

"It's still a bad dream, and it's getting worse," Hanson said Monday. "He was a good son."

Four others were injured, some seriously, she said.

Johnson was assigned to the 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion, Tonawanda, N.Y. He grew up in Montpelier and graduated from high school there in 1981. He joined the Guard in North Dakota while in high school, his mother said.

"He was in 26 years," Hanson said. "He lived for the service."

Hanson said her son lived in Yakima, Wash., with his wife, Victoria, and a stepdaughter. She last spoke to him on Christmas. "We didn't have time to talk about an awful lot," she said.

It was his first tour of duty in Iraq, Hanson said.

"He ordinarily would have been coming home in April," his mother said.

Sonny Johnson, of Montpelier, said his son "was a good kid, good in school and got good grades. And he loved the Guard."

Alan was raised to be a farmer, his father said. "He grew up raising crops and horses and running tractors and then he went to college," Sonny Johnson said.

Johnson said his son worked as corrections officer at a prison in Yakima. The two last spoke on Alan Johnson's birthday on Dec. 30.

"We talked about what he was doing, and he said they were doing a good job out there," Sonny Johnson said.

Johnson will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C. A memorial service is being planned in Jamestown, his mother said.

From Newsday