Services today for Springboro soldier killed in West Africa

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Services today for Springboro soldier killed in West Africa

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Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, formerly of Springboro, and three other U.S. soldiers were killed Oct. 4 during an attack in the West African nation of Niger, according to the Defense Department. U.S. ARMY PHOTO

A memorial service for a soldier formerly from the Springboro area and three others killed in an ambush in Niger in West Africa is set for Nov. 7 at Fort Bragg, N.C., according to an Army spokesman.

Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, and formerly of the Springboro area, was among those killed in the Oct. 4 incident, the Defense Department has said. A date for a funeral service was pending Thursday, a spokesman said.

ISIS-Grand Sahara militants were behind the attack against U.S. soldiers, Maj. Audricia M. Harris, a Pentagon spokeswoman, confirmed to this newspaper Thursday. The attack killed a foreign soldier working with American forces and injured two U.S. soldiers during a reconnaissance patrol, officials have said.

The other Americans killed in the attack were Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash., Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga., and Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, of Miami Gardens, Fla., the Defense Department reported. Sgt. LaDavid Johnson’s name was released days after the three soldiers were first identified.

They were assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg.

Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, who was married and had two children, moved to the Springboro area in his 20s to be closer to his mother and stepfather before he enlisted in the Army, friends of the family have told this news outlet.

“This is not another name,” Jeff Baldridge, a Springboro area family friend and Air Force veteran told WHIO-TV last week. “This is a young man who gave his life for his country, and it is hard to wrap your hand around the fact that for us this isn’t just another statistic. For us, every single veteran is precious.”

The soldier was expected to return to the United States in December after a year-long deployment in Africa, friends said. His parents had relocated in recent years to South Carolina.

A time for the memorial service at Fort Bragg had not yet been set, Army Capt. Christopher D. Webb said in an email.

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