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Marine who graduated from Shaw High killed in Afghanistan

Lance Cpl. Raymon Johnson, a 22-year-old Marine from Columbus, was killed Wednesday while serving in Afghanistan.

“He was the point man on a security patrol and stepped on an improvised explosive device,” said his father, Greg Johnson, on Thursday, as he prepared to leave for Dover, Del., to get his son’s body.

Raymon Johnson, assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., was conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Johnson, a 2006 graduate of Shaw High, had been a Marine for three years.

“He wanted to be a Marine since he was a young boy,” said a cousin, Monique Smith of Roswell, Ga. “He was always playing war games on the computer. My father was a captain in the Marines and Raymon was very close to him.”

Johnson attended college one year in Atlanta before enlisting.

Smith said a lot of folks tried to talk him out of going into the military but he wouldn’t listen.

She added that when her cousin arrived in Afghanistan, he talked to his mother, Gwendolyn Johnson, and told her he was doing fine.

“There were some things he wanted her to send him,” Smith said. “I don’t think the package is even there yet.”

The Marine’s mother had surgery in Atlanta this week. Shortly after arriving home from the hospital, she heard the knock at the door and got the news about her son.

“The last time she had spoken with Raymon, she told him to come home safe, and he promised her he would,” Smith said.

“When we talked to him, he said everything was fine,” his father said. “My son was a good young man. He wanted to serve his country.”