Local News

Spc. Matthew J. Johnson

Posted July 17, 2010 9:00 a.m. EDT

Spc. Matthew J. Johnson, 21 of Maplewood, Minn., enlisted in the Army in 2008 and was assigned to the 618th Eng. Spt. Co. He served as an engineer equipment operator and mine-resistant, ambush-protected operator during route-clearance operations. He served on one deployment to Afghanistan.

Johnson’s family issued the following statement:

“Matthew James Johnson was born and raised in Maplewood, Minnesota. He attended North High School in St. Paul and had a keen interest in hunting, fishing, snowboarding, skateboarding and basketball. Matthew joined the Army in 2008 and was very proud to serve in the military. He will be deeply missed by his mother, father, older brother and special friend Katie Burns.”

Additionally, Capt. Steven Holmberg, commander for the 618th Engineer Company, said Johnson was truly a critical part of the team.

“He had a vibrant personality that brightened everyone’s day, and he always worked to be the best at his job,” Holmberg said.

Johnson’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, and Driver Badge with Driver Wheeled Vehicles.

Johnson died of injuries sustained Wednesday, July 14, 2010, in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his military vehicle with an improvised explosive device.