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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots
By USAF Sr. Airman Steve Bauer

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Vandenberg Officials Hold Memorial Service For Fallen Airman
(October 18, 2010)

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Senior Airman Daniel JohnsonVANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (10/15/2010 - AFNS) -- A memorial service was held for a fallen Airman Oct. 13, at the Base Chapel here.

Hundreds of people filled the chapel's pews to pay their final respects to Senior Airman Daniel Johnson, a 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician who was killed in action Oct. 5, west of Kandahar, Afghanistan, by a roadside bomb.

"Dan died not just defending the United States, but also the entire world against those who use terror to impose their will upon others," said Col. Richard Boltz, the 30th Space Wing commander. "He died doing a job he enjoyed and serving a country he loved so that others may live in peace and freedom."

Airman Johnson joined the Air Force in November 2006. After completion of technical training, he was assigned to Vandenberg AFB in October 2007. Since his enlistment, he has been deployed twice. He served a seven-month tour of duty in Iraq in 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan in August 2010.
"Dan was the epitome of an EOD tech," said Lt. Col. Timothy Dodge, the 30th CES commander. "He was known for his expertise and the training of others."

Airman Johnson received three medals from the Afghanistan deployment including the Bronze Star with valor, the Air Force Combat Action Medal and the Purple Heart. The medals were presented to his family during the memorial service.

The medals were earned during an operation in which Airman Johnson's team met heavy resistance in the form of victim-operated improvised explosive devices, arranged in a way to deny maneuver and defeat enemy forces. Airman Johnson used mine detection equipment to clear safe
Family and friends of Senior Airman Daniel Johnson escort his remains into the First Christian Church Oct. 13, 2010, in Santa Maria, Calif. Airman Johnson, a 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight technician, was killed in the line of duty Oct. 5, 2010, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Luke Thelen
Family and friends of Senior Airman Daniel Johnson escort his remains into the First Christian Church Oct. 13, 2010, in Santa Maria, Calif. Airman Johnson, a 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight technician, was killed in the line of duty Oct. 5, 2010, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Luke Thelen
approaches and areas. His team engaged and defeated six improvised explosive devices and preformed two post-blast analyses, which provided valuable intelligence. 
According to the Airman Johnson's Bronze Star citation, "Airman Johnson bravely approached and cleared an area heavily laden with improvised explosive devices and was single-handedly responsible for saving the life of an Afghan National Army soldier who was injured by a concealed booby trap by providing combat lifesaver care."

"He is an American hero -- one who fought for his country and died for his country," Colonel Dodge said. "He really made a difference in the lives of others." 

By USAF Sr. Airman Steve Bauer
30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Air Force News Service

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