Less than three months after deploying to Afghanistan with the Georgia National Guard, Spc. Issac L. Johnson, of Columbus was killed July 6 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
The Department of Defense announced that Johnson, 24, was one of four soldiers killed in operations in Konduz, Afghanistan.
Georgia guardsman Sgt. Brock Henry Chavers Sr., 25, of Statesboro also died in the bomb attack. Chavers was assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry in Americus, Ga. Johnson served with Troop A, 1st Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron in Rome, Ga.
Georgia National Guard spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Roy Henry said Chavers’ unit deployed for its yearlong tour in late April. Chavers deployed on June 11, Henry added.
“This past weekend, as hundreds of millions of Americans celebrated our nation’s independence, our brave sons and daughters were halfway around the world still protecting that freedom ...” Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “Celebrating our independence also means remembering the long line of heroes that have laid down their lives so that our country and others around the world can enjoy freedom. Mary and I encourage all Georgians to join us in praying for their families.”
Maj. Gen. William T. Nesbitt, Georgia’s Adjutant General, also released a statement after learning of Johnson’s and Chavers’ deaths.
“The deaths of Sgt. Brock Henry Chavers Sr. and Spc. Isaac Lee Johnson Jr. are a devastating loss for the nation, the state, the Georgia Guard and most of all, the families of these fine men.
“This heartbreaking news,” he added, “that two of our courageous young soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan reminds us, yet again, that the cost of freedom is high.
“Sergeant Chavers and Specialist Johnson, both members of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, were special soldiers, not only to their own families, but to our Guard family. Their courage and exemplary service reflect the professionalism to which every soldier aspires.”
Also killed were 2nd Lt. Derwin I. Williams, 41, of Glenwood, Ill., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 106th Cavalry Regiment, Dixon, Ill.; and Spc. Chester W. Hosford, 35, of Hastings, Minn., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 106th Cavalry Regiment, Dixon, Ill.
Lily Gordon, 706-576-6284