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Friday, November 11, 2011

On Veteran's Day - Remembering Gary Johnston

I want thank the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.  Some have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and defend our freedom.  One was my cousin and here are all of the websites and memorials that I have found on the web.

Gary S. Johnston
May 24, 1985 - Jan. 23, 2007
Parents:  J.B. 'Nubbin' and Angela Johnston
Member of St. Mary's Catholic Church Windthorst, TX
Graduated from Windthorst High School in 2003
US Marine Corp Sergeant in Iraq
Enlisted: May 2004
Radio operator to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary out of Okinawa, Japan
Killed in the line of duty as a result of a bomb blast while serving in Iraq in the early hours on January 23, 2007 in Al Anbar province, Iraq
Purple Heart

In memory of:
Conservative Propaganda
Freedom Remembered
Dod Identifies Marine Casualties
Find a grave

News articles:
Corps Stories
The Washington Post

Tributes on message boards:

Lyrics: I went to a funeral in a small country town, a lonely bell was ringing and there were lots of flags around. a local paper told of how a hometown hero fell, people came from everywhere to bid the young Marine farewell. tears started flowing as the taps began to play, I closed my eyes, held my wife, bowed my head and prayed. Father up in heaven I come to you in prayer, I beg for peace in the middle east and for our soldiers over there. Father please bless today our daughters and our sons, give them strength and courage for their work left to be done. Lord guide them thru the danger that they're in, keep them safe until you bring them home again. Thank you for our daily bread and the shelter we live in, most of all for Jesus Christ who came to set us free from sin. thank you for our freedom and the old red, white, and blue, I know so many people have got it worse off than we do. Lord be with all our soldiers overseas, and please God bless America and always keep her free. Father up in Heaven, I hope you hear my prayer, I beg for peace in the middle east and for our soldiers over there.
Info: This song pretty much wrote itself. Ever since 9/11 and the "war on terror" started, I have always tried to keep our soldiers in my thoughts and prayers. However, sometimes almost everyone gets caught up in a whirlwind of worries and troubles of building a future for ourselves, and we tend to forget the brave men and women who are "over there" defending our freedom. For me Jan. 23rd 2007 was a wake up call. Sgt. Gary Scott Johnston, a 22yr. old Marine was killed by an I.E.D. while leading a door to door search of buildings in Iraq. Gary was an ornery kid from Windthorst Texas. a small close knit Catholic community in the heart of farm and ranch country in the north central part of the state. IF, there is such a thing as an awesome funeral, Gary had one. One of Gary's comrades escorted his body from Iraq back to his hometown, every time they changed planes the young man never left Gary's side until he brought him home and turned him over to his parents. The Patriot Guard, a motorcycle club that pays respects to fallen heroes, lined the steps up the hill to the church. each stood silently dressed in black, holding an American flag, they also escorted the funeral procession from the church to the cemetary. Gary was named after his uncle who was killed in the Vietnam War, they are now buried beside each other in Archer County, Texas. Gary's mom Angela, is my wife's cousin, she made my wife's wedding dress 20 yrs. ago when Gary was just a kid. I am honored to be related to this wonderful family. The young Marines that laid Gary's body to rest were nothing short of impressive, anyone who has a doubt about the courage, and valor of America's men and women in the military, need only to attend a funeral for one of these Heroes, and we all should thank God that we live in the United States of America.

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