Local News

Raleigh Community Center Renamed in Honor of Fallen Soldier

Posted December 25, 2007
Updated December 26, 2007

— The Raleigh's South-Gate Community Center was recently renamed to honor a soldier that gave a lot to his community and country.

"Courtney was always there for everybody,” mother Asundra Johnson said.

Courtney Johnson spent most of his free time at the center.

"A lot of the younger community members would be here, and he would mentor them. He liked sports, he coached the softball team,” Robyn Hicks, Courtney Johnson's fiancee, said.

"Growing up here, you are not used to seeing a lot of stuff. They're not used to seeing positive. You're used to seeing negative. You're used to seeing people doing the same old scene, drugs or whatever,” brother Trevor Johnson said. “He was always trying to tell me, no matter how much negativity is around you, always stay positive."

Johnson brought that positive attitude to the Marine Corps and later the United States Army, where he became a sergeant.

"He just felt like that was something he needed to do,” Robyn Hicks said.

On July 11, Johnson was killed during a firefight in Iraq. His commander said he was trying to wake up fellow soldiers asleep in their tents.

"They (the Army) knock on your door. 'We have come to tell you that your son, Courtney T. Johnson, will not be coming home today,' that was it,” Asundra Johnson said.

The family wanted to rename the community center in Johnson's honor. The request meant waiving a city policy, so the family started a petition. They needed more than 1,000 signatures to move forward with the name change.

"All you would have to say was his name and they would just start signing,” Trevor Johnson said.

Earlier this month, the Raleigh City Council approved renaming the facility.

"I feel like all things happen for a reason,” Asundra Johnson said.

The Johnson family plans to build up the center's reputation.

"Just get more people in the community to come together as one,” Robyn Hicks said.

"We want his legacy to go onto this community, onto his son, and hopefully it will. So with God's will, it will,” Asundra Johnson said.

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Courtney T. Johnson Community Center, sent an e-mail to familyfriendsandcommunity@yahoo.com.


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  • Ripcord Dec 26, 2007

    "Another wasted of life.Bush."

    Must absolutely everything with anti-war types become an anti-war protest? Can't you show the decency to simply honor this man? Good grief.

    Crawl back into your hole.

  • One 4 the Team Dec 26, 2007

    R.I.P. From, someone who benefited from postive in the cmmunity
    touched by Johnson.

  • TruthBKnown Dec 26, 2007

    Idiot, meaning YOU, not Bush.

  • TruthBKnown Dec 26, 2007

    "Another wasted of life.Bush."


  • SuperNupe Dec 26, 2007

    R.I.P. Courtney....

    I grew up with Courtney, I remember playing at the outside courts in the Southgate Community Center. I think its an honor and great tribute to name the center after him. He was a dear friend. I saw him about 2 weeks before he was deployed back to Iraq, and I never thought that it would be the last time. You will be missed from Southgate to Kingwood...

  • floyd_lawson Dec 25, 2007

    A REAL HERO is right!!! When I first heard about this I didn't think there was any way this would get passed by the city council under meekers watch. I'm not convinced it's going to stand-up once their "whiny" liberal base hears about it but this man, his family and the community certainly deserve it!

  • DrunkSober Dec 25, 2007

    Another wasted of life.Bush.

  • Ripcord Dec 25, 2007

    God Bless this fine Marine and his family.

  • stand_up Dec 25, 2007

    Now, he is a REAL hero!

  • colliedave Dec 25, 2007

    semper fi