Thursday, October 4, 2012 —
RALEIGH, N.C. –Three members of the North Carolina Army National
Guard’s 514th Military Police Company based in Winterville, N.C.,
died as a result of wounds sustained in a suicide bomber attack while
on patrol in Afghanistan, on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Three others were
Killed were Sgt. Donna R. Johnson, 29, of Raeford, N.C., Sgt.
Jeremy F. Hardison, 23, of Browns Summit, N.C., and Sgt. Thomas J.
Butler IV, 25, of Leland, N.C.
“We are still grieving for these Soldiers, their families and
their unit members still carrying on with their mission,” said Maj.
Gen. Gregory A. Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina and commander
of the nearly 12,000 men and women of the North Carolina National
Guard. “They were the embodiment of citizen Soldiers who put
everything on hold to go in harm’s way for all of us. They will be
remembered and sorely missed.”
The incident that took their lives occurred at approximately 9
a.m. local time in Khost City, Afghanistan, when an insurgent on foot
approached the Soldiers’ patrol and detonated a suicide vest.
Sgt. Johnson joined the North Carolina National Guard in August
2006. She had previously deployed to Iraq from 2007 to 2008. Her
awards and decorations included the Combat Action Badge, Iraq Campaign
Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
Sgt. Hardison entered the military in May of 2006. Also a
veteran of service in Iraq, he had deployed there in 2009. His awards
and decorations included the Combat Action Badge, Iraq Campaign Medal
with a campaign star and the Army Commendation Medal.
Sgt. Butler began his military service in June of 2007. The
deployment to Afghanistan was his first. His awards and decorations
included the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
The names of the injured will not be released. There are no
medical condition reports available at this time.
The unit left North Carolina for Fort Bliss, Texas, in June and
departed for Afghanistan in early August with the unit fully in place
there by the end of the month.
Funeral arrangements for the three fallen Soldiers are
incomplete. The families have requested that members of the media
respect their privacy as they go through this difficult time.