In Honor of those who serve - Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson enlisted in the United States Army 100 days after 9/11, when he was 17 years old. He attended Basic Training between his junior and senior years in high school and then attended advanced individual training for the infantry. He served a total of six years.
A year of that time - from September 2005 to September 2006 -was spent in Iraq, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Although he served at a time when the death toll for American soldiers was high, Johnson said there were some bright moments during his service.
"I was there for the elections, when they were all dipping their fingers in purple ink," Johnson said. "It was exciting to see that happen, to see a representative republic being born. I was glad for that."
Not all the stories of his time in Iraq are happy ones, and most take a long time to tell, he said.
"The kids loved us," he added. "I think they knew they were going to have a better future, from us liberating them."
As Johnson went out to help a cow delivering a calf on his rural Wrenshall farm this week, he recalled another bright spot of his service that happened stateside, when President George W. Bush visited the army post at Fort Campbell, KY. Johnson had his photo taken with the President and was even on the front page of the local paper there.
How does Johnson think people might show respect or gratitude to veterans and active military?
"By supporting the Constitution of the United States and respecting the laws of our Founding Fathers," he said. "Also, by volunteering, whether it's a home for disabled veterans or an active service member's family that needs help."
~ Jana Peterson/