Three North Carolina National Guard Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Monday


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. Three others were injured.

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. 


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Contact: Lt. Col. Robert Carver
Phone: (919) 612-9712

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