Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Pvt. Lavena L. Johnson

19, of Florissant, Missouri.
Johnson died in Balad, Iraq, of non-combat related injuries. She was assigned to the 129th Corps Support Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Died on July 19, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Army Pvt. Lavena L. Johnson.

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"To the family of:Lavena L. Johnson
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. She died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015.
Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga""

"https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.468780641133.253814.530051133&type=1"
Leon Morton of Saxapahaw NC

"I was recently online and seen the pictures of your beautiful daughter before and after pictures. The tragedy that can upon her is a disgrace because the way the military is saying that she died.I don't believe she committed suicide. I seen the pictures of your daughter. My heart goes out to you and your daughter Lavena L. Johnson.You are in my prays. I hope you find out the truth about what happen to your angel in heaven. June 21, 2010"
Kim Harris of Denver, Colorado

"I was recently online and seen the pictures of your beautiful daughter before and after pictures. The tragedy that can upon her is a disgrace because the way the military is saying that she died.I don't believe she committed suicide. I seen the pictures of your daughter. My heart goes out to you and your daughter Lavena L. Johnson.You are in my prays. I hope you find out the truth about what happen to your angel in heaven."
Kim Harris of Denver, Colorado

"I was saddened to hear of Lavena's death she seemed like such a sweet girl she always had a smile on her face. I Knew lavena form boot camp although we were not in the same platoon we all stayed in the same barracks.I didnt have the pleasure to get to know her personally but she was always very freindly she just had this warm kindness about her and her smile was one of a kind!I just wish i had gotten to know her better she seemed to be a wonderful person and i cant beleive shes gone.Iam so sorry for the loss of your daughter Mr and Mrs Johnson you have my condolences and my prayers,god bless you."
veronica sanchez of fort stockton texas

"To the parents and family of LaVena Johnson, I pray that you find the answers that you need for closure. I too am looking for answers to the murder of my daughter, Sgt. Keicia M Coleman Hines (2004). I too have been enduring the run-around by the Army, with very similar circumstances of which you have already encountered. I was told she was involved in a vehicle accident, but with persistance I received several documents that prove different. The initial documents were classified as a murder, but some unknown ranking official decided not to investigate further. I believe that she was murdered and placed in the middle of the street to be run over, actually like a steamroller, by a large vehicle that destroyed her body, thus destroying any evidence of fowl play. The reports were incomplete, the vehicle was found but not impounded for evidence, the witness statement were inconsistant, and every excuse possible was given for their lack of due diligence.
I truly understand how you must feel..something that I hoped no other parent would have to experience, especially at the hands of the military.
It is truly a shame and disgrace that our daughters were fighting for their country, not knowing that the enemy was standing right next to them. And to know that the Army is willing to harbor criminals.
The world has lost a brave younglady and soldier. LaVena L. Johnson is now in the Lord's army and will NEVER be Forgotten.
May God Bless You
February 12, 2010"
Beverly Coleman of Sacramento CA

"i pray for your angel...lavena... the evil that was done will not go unpunished"
bree of baltimore

"My prayers go out to the family of Lavena and may she rest in the arms of a loving God.

And to those who've committed such atrocities under the guise of war...you cannot hide from a mighty God...your day of judgment is coming."
kd of Bay Area

"LaVena Johnson (In Memorial) Where Is The Justice?

Just when you think youíve heard it all,
Another name is slammed into a brick wall,
LaVena Johnson an Army Private First Class,
Is she the first? Certainly this PFC isnít the last.

Is it any wonder Osama Bin Laden canít be found?
With a criminal loose in our camp running around,
Destroying evidence, burning bodies, again & again,
Calling themselves soldiers, claiming they are men.

What a shame when the real enemy is on the same side,
Behind the color of camaraderie these cowards hide,
Punched in the face, loose teeth, she was only 5 feet 1,
The Army claims its suicide, thatís all, over and done.

How many before shooting themselves bust their own lip,
Severe enough to the point it needs more than one stitch,
Surprisingly they didnít say she tried to saw herself in half,
Which lie would be easier to swallow? You do the math.

So, how did that chemical burn get on her private parts?
Oh yeah, maybe a tattoo, some kind of new wave art,
Why would someone waste time getting rid of DNA?
Just maybe without detection theyíre free to get away.

The U.S. Army actually tried lying, hooray for her dad,
He gave that crap the smell test and oh did it smell bad,
7/19/05 her dead body found in a contractorís tent, HBR,
Broken nose, black eye, shot in the head and body scars.

Military personnel or civilians arenít we on the same side?
Who is the American Government protecting, why that lie?
Had to be someone with pull to get her alone, youíd think,
I donít have to be standing next to skunk to know it stinks.

Whereís Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the infamous NAACP?
She could not have been more violated, do you not agree?
A 19-year-old honor student should be shown more respect,
But, this is how sheís being treated. Hey! What the heck?

Canít call it racial because all women are treated the same,
Even academies and bases in the states there is this claim,
We are truly near the end of days soon God will work it out,
Vengeance will certainly be more than a punch in the mouth.

The Uniform Code Of Military Justice aka the U.C.M.J.,
But, where is this promise for LaVena, her assailant got away,
Judging by the condition of her remains, she put up a fight,
Now John and Linda Johnson are paving the road to right.

Funny thing though, seems they have a roadblock in Iraq,
Itís from the U.S. Army, who supposedly has their back,
The saying, ďwith friends like these who needs enemies?Ē
Guess the Army thinks first the perpetrator said, ďplease?Ē

Here's a little something to me that is simply down right scary,
The hole in her head was from a pistol, which she did not carry,
Oh yeah, if you think that's something how does this fact sound?
The fatal bullet that went through her head was never even found.

If there ever was this kind of incompetence in World War II,
Adolph Hitler or his off spring would be telling us what to do,
Oops, I don't mean us because there'd be no Blacks or Jews,
And only if the Furor liked Mexican food maybe a Hispanic or 2.

Whomever, wherever, whatever, an injustice did occur,
We canít make it right for others without justice for her,
Hey, White House, the most powerful office in the world,
Do you have the gonads to speak out for this Johnson girl?

A petition was signed that is over twelve thousand strong,
The Army closed the case anyway saying nothingís wrong,
Nothing like U.S. Intelligence, itís the reason for the attack,
If they hadnít been storing WMDís we wouldnít be in Iraq.

I saw something on the Internet much sadder than sad,
Her mom distraught, shedding tears, clutching her dad,
Soldiers carrying LaVenaís body almost made me mad,
Draped over her lifeless casket was an American flag.

Apparently the stars and stripes blows in two directions,
There is one for neglect, another for promised protection,
As it laid over her body on that particular sun filled day,
Was it 1 of protection or 1 allowing a killer to get away?

Beware this incident is not about colors, Black or White,
Remember itís a statement in the arena of wrong vs. right,
I wonder if her recruiter bothered to make LaVena aware,
The same injustice suffered here is also allowed over there.

And hereís a timeless saying, which is entering my mind,
Thereís even a movie with the title, ďBehind Enemy Lines,Ē
Now that the light is shining on a lie that 3 years rang true,
Who will step in & accomplish what the enemy refused to do?

For every ranking Army official who signed off on this case,
Nothing less than a court martial is what each 1 should face,
Upon their conviction exactly where should they have to go?
What about life in a cell behind barb wire fences at Gitmo."
Luke Easter of Cleveland Heights, Ohio

"lavena, I am so so sorry for what happened to you. I pray that God will bring you justice and our world for taking you out the way you left. My tears are for you, go with God sweet one."
Shelley of Illinois

"I just recently heard about your story this morning on Russ Parr and I reserched it on the internet and I am deeply saddened by the fact that your death has gone unnoticed. The things that happened to you are awful and I hope that God is taking care of you. My prayers go out to your family as they search for justice and I hope that justice will be served."
Amber of Maryland

"LaVena Johnson

Just when you think youíve heard it all,
Another name is slammed into a brick wall,
LaVena Johnson an Army Private First Class,
Is she the first? Certainly this PFC isnít the last.

Is it any wonder Osama Bin Laden canít be found?
With murders and rapists in camp running around,
Destroying evidence, burning bodies, again & again,
Calling themselves soldiers, claiming they are men.

What a shame when the real enemy is on the same side,
Behind the color of camaraderie these cowards hide,
Punched in the face, loose teeth, she was only 5 feet 1,
The Army claims its suicide, thatís all, over and done.

So, how did that chemical burn get on her private parts?
Oh yeah, maybe a tattoo, some kind of new wave art,
Why would someone waste time getting rid of DNA?
Just maybe without detection theyíre free to get away.

The U.S. Army actually tried lying, hooray for her dad,
He gave that crap the smell test and oh did it smell bad,
7/19/05 her dead body found in a contractorís tent, HBR,
Broken nose, black eye, shot in the head and body scars.

Military personnel or civilians arenít we on the same side?
Who is the American Government protecting, why that lie?
Had to be someone with pull to get her alone, youíd think,
I donít have to be standing next to skunk to know it stinks.

Whereís Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the infamous NAACP?
She could not have been more violated, do you not agree?
A 19-year-old honor student should be shown more respect,
But, this is how sheís being treated. Hey! What the heck?

Canít call it racial because all women are treated the same,
Even academies and bases in the states there is this claim,
We are truly near the end of days soon God will work it out,
Vengeance will certainly be more than a punch in the mouth."
Luke Easter of Cleveland Heights, Ohio

"Dear Family Johnson,

Know that God sees all, and knows all. Lavena's death has been recorded in heaven and this evil and vile act will be judged and settled by the most High God, Jesus Christ. Remeber her being full of life. Celebrate the time you shared with her. Forgive those who hurt her. In due season her death shall be avenged by the one who has power to kill the body as well as the soul. Your soldier is in heaven serving in God's army."
Sherrie of Alaska

"Thank you for your service to this country. I pray that your family and loved ones will find some closure when the true story of your death is made known and your killer(s) brought to justice."
Dr. Eileen A. Schweickert of Mesick, MI USA

"The different branches of the military have been getting away with this sort or thing for years and years and years and Lavena was another female that was victimized by those in charge. Like the young man Pat Tillmans mother said, If a high profile individuals family was lied to time and time again, what about the poor souls that are less likely to be as visible. What are their families being told? How are they being treated? Just ask Dr. and Mrs. Johnson"
Bruce of Pflugerville, Tx. US of A

"Dr. and Mrs Johnson,

I want you to know you have my deepest sympathy. I am so sorry for your lost and will continue to pray for your family. Your daughter was a brave young lady and she will always be remembered."
Gussie Marie Jackson of Atlanta, Georgia U.S.

"To the Johnson Family:
Stay strong and continue the fight. We are behind you and would grant you the right to full knowledge if we could. Your determination will be rewarded and we will all benefit from it. Thank you for your courage and may God grace with you the strength and faith to endure this. Lavena must be so proud and we know that her spirit lives on inside of each of you. I am sorry for your tremendous loss."
Connie of St. Louis, MO

"All my love and heart felt sympathy to the Johnson Family for their loss of one so young and (from what i have read) spirited lady. To have her taken from you in this way is a great tragedy.

But she will be with you always and will watch over you always.

As my grandmother use to say " never mourn for their death but celebrate their life and the joys that they brought to you, because its the good things that they did that make you smile""
Peter Cooper of Christchurch, New Zealand

"June 15, 2008
To the family of Pvt. Lavena L. Johnson:
Lavena gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"There was a young lady by the name of Orlinda Kay Newton (KayKay) who was married to a young man station in VA. in the service and as we know she was murdered and the armed forces covered it up and closed her case. "Justice Must Prevail""
of New Jersey

"I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter, If there's no justice here on earth; than trully those criminals will pay by the wrath of God's Hand."
Jackie of Allentown Pa

"I was very sadden again to re-live the injustice the slander that the USA Armys attempt to disrespect the Loving memories of this beautiful Angel that was created for Honor and condolence for she came to be Blessed to share her short life.I am a mother of (5) daughters so I feel personally, to say to you that she will be the" Proud Shining Star" that will be forever endeared to all of us.I listened to the St. Louis MO.(KMJM Majic 104.9FM) (1-20-2008)sunday talk show that all I could think I prayed and will be assured that her Family will know the truth about her untimely and horrific death!!! You do not allow this "Country" to rest till the last to "Breathe" you can take comfort to know that those evil deeds done in the darkness of that foreign soil will be brought to Final Justice!! LaVena L. Johnson is too "special" for this City to allow her courage to Stop our faith that when we go to the Polls to vote that Mrs. Hillary Clinton "MUST" be accountable to bring truth and closer to the (CONGRESSIONAL ARMED FORCES COMMITTEE) to give this strong family of Johnson's who have given up far too much to allow them to over look and turn a deaf ear to our Prays!!!Our State Senator's all need to guarantee this family the Honorable Justice they deserve to hold as a treasure to their daughters "Memory"of what she Might have become I am the mother of a 37 yr.old first born daughter who served in the US.Navy "Gulf Conflict 1989-1993,high school "Quota recruiter" who was left victimized and scorned by the US military.The Johnson Family should not have to guess why they were "selected" to endure this hard road alone while the city and these USA officials concern themselves with the Politics of we do not care!! Mr. Lacy Clay, Ms.Coleman,Ms. MaCaskill, YOU all can make this Nightmare End!!!!!!!!! Respectfully with Honor to LaVena L.Johnson's younger sister also the loving parents and Community to embrace them and to support them 150% for she gave when your families would not!!! Her life is forever in our hearts and the "Grace" that god will place comfort for her family to know that she is now resting with the "Most High" and her Honorable Memory will keep the smile on us. She was someone that I can share her story to my daughters to take that USA military "life of travel" out of their plan, because people in Power betrayed LaVena L.Johnson in a "deliberate" Attempt to Shut this family Down, however the Power of God will Turn this around and we Pray this will be SOON!!! Hold your heads up high to know that we need to come together right now and educate and organize the High School counselors and "Quota" recruiters who schemed,and "Tried" to destroy a Promised beloved young ladys family. And to write and to Scream at these Nationwide Politicians who Need to Step-up on LaVena L. Johnsons ultimate sacrifice for "His Eyes Are On The Sparrow,And He IS Watching LaVena!!!!!!!! Gods Speed Dr.and Mrs.Johnson Family"
MCRD Veteran of The Vietnam War, honored Veterans Camp Pendleton Marines,1972-1976 served of Oceanside CA.USA

"I would like to send my deepest sympathy to the family of Lavena Johnson. She seemed to be such a brightful and beautiful person inside and out. May God continue to be with the Johnson family."
Sheena Smith of Oklahoma City, OK USA

"Dear Family of Lavena Johnson:

To honor the Missouri soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, the professional artists of the Grateful Hearts Project are offering to paint a portrait of the individual soldier for her family.

These 16"x20" original portraits are being offered completely free of charge in recognition of the sacrificies made by these brave soldiers and in condolence for their families loss.

For more information,please email us at gratefulheartsproj@sbcglobal.net

Sincerely;
The Artists of Grateful Hearts"
J.Gragg of Lee's Summit, Mo.

"May the memory of this heroic young woman live on in infamy, may truth prevail above all else; and may Almighty God comfort and keep those LaVena has left behind."
US Army CH (CPT) Kyle A. Taylor of Pyongtaek S. Korea

"Looked at the news I am glad you have a proud persistent family and there will be victory and truth soon!!!"
Teresa of Ferguson, MO

"I hope what Ive read is not true.
Thank you for your service I will pray for your family and we all know you will be well received in heaven."
Patrick Stephenson of Coquitlam B.C. Canada

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Johnson family during this tragedy in their lives. Justice must be survived for LaVena."
CHS c/o 2005 of Florissant

"Parents question their daughter's mysterious death in Iraq

(KMOV) -- A year and a half ago, a 19-year-old Florissant woman became the first female from Missouri to die during the Iraq war.

The military was quick to point out that her death was not combat related.

Since then, her parents have struggled to find out what really happened to their daughter.

News 4’s Matt Sczesny took a close look at the evidence gathered by the military and asks the question, “was it murder or suicide?"

Among the thousands of graves at Jefferson Barracks cemetery there are stories of bravery, heroism, and proud service.

Among the thousands is the grave of Private Lavena Johnson, whose story is clouded in mystery and according to her parents, marred by murder and cover-up.

Lavena's father, Dr. John Johnson, has waged his own personal crusade to find out what really happened to his daughter in Iraq on July 19, 2005.

The army ruled her death a suicide, the victim of a gunshot wound to the head.

In documents and autopsy photos obtained by the Johnson family and shared with News 4, more questions are raised than answered.

One strange fact was that Lavena was apparently abused, physically, and the autopsy didn't address the physical trauma to her body.

Military documents also show no apparent indication of suicide, her company commander wrote that Johnson was clearly happy and healthy physically and emotionally, something her mother knew by a phone conversation the day before she died.

Johnson's parents also question how their daughter at 5’1”, could handle a 40 inch M-16 to kill herself while sitting.

In fact, a military laboratory even concluded that based on a gunshot residue test, Johnson may not have even handled the weapon.

Additionally, Johnson's military debit card was never found, even though she used it two hours before her death to buy candy.

No bullet was ever found where she died, and a trail of blood is seen in photos outside the tent. Even stranger, it appears as if someone tried to set her body on fire.

So if it wasn't a suicide as the Army maintains, then how did Lavena Johnson die?

Based on the autopsy photos, her father believes that she was raped.

The military is unconvinced and consider the case closed.

A Pentagon spokesman says that the case was investigated thoroughly and that there is no evidence to reopen.

News 4 tried for weeks to get the Army to say more about the death of Private Johnson, but they're only response is that the investigation is closed.

Certainly the documents military investigators have gathered seem to say a lot more.

Johnson's father is now trying to have her body exhumed at Jefferson Barracks to have an independent autopsy performed."
KMOV of St. Louis, MO

"I remember taking Lavena's braids out for her in basic. The drill sergeants use to always get on her about them. LOL. Johnson no matter what her mood was always made way to break a smile, killing them with kindness. I remember her conversations in the "Latrine" about how she had proud family members and when it came to moral support, she had it! It is hard for me to write this and keep my composure. Most people often wonder how somebody like Johnson, was taken out of this world without having the chance to enjoy her career, better yet her life! It's not fair, and even though basic was a pain, I would do it all over again, just to be with her. I wish it hadn't been her. Why? Johnson is a very brave person. I remember the times when she would say "You know girl, sometimes i get a bad vibe about being in the military, but i know that God will see me through! I wish we stuck to our first plan and ran when the drill sergeant came for us! LOL When I found out Lavena died, it was June of 06, almost a year after she died. It killed me and put me in a state of shock. The last time I had seen Johnson was AIT February 05. I congratulated her on moving up and told her we have to visit each other. Her comment was " Ill I don't wanna see you, ill I'm tired of looking at you." She always had a joke or two. LOL! Even though Johnson no longer lives on this earth, her gifts to us lives on. "FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE" I love her as a friend and can't wait to see her wrapped in our fathers arm.
I love you Johnson
Always Forward Battle! Hooah"
Sheena Bozman of Fort Hood Texas

"Johnson.. I remember the days in Basic, the hot, cold, endless mornings days and nights. You've given the ultimate sacrifice.. for that i admire you. You were always motivating us.. like a True Top Delta Dawg Soldier!! We miss you!! Til we meet again, Always Forward Battle!!
-Your Battle Buddy,
SPC.Salazar, Erica L.
US Army"
Erica L. Salazar of California

"I am a native of the city of Florissant, Missouri. I did not know Lavena, but I am sure that she was a good soldier and did her utmost for her country.

I attended Naval Academy until I was diagnosed with Diabetes, which kept me from fighting in the recent conflict. After 9-11 I tried to re enlist, but was told I would not be applicable, due to my disease. When I heard that another person from my hometown died in Iraq, I felt sorrow that with the training I received, I was unable to be there and possibly take her place.

May you see the truth that Lavena truly gave her life for the noblest reason; the service of others. Duty is I think a sublime word. It is only real when fine young people like your Lavena make it so.

I know that no words can make the pain any better, or the world any less quiet without her presence. I hope your family takes comfort that I will keep her memory in my prayers.

May God bless all of the Johnson Family
and take care of Lavena in Heaven.

Sincerely,

Joseph Wood
Jennings, Missouri"
Joseph Wood of Jennings, MO

"The Military Prayer:
Dear Lord, Gave me the wisdom to lead, and the humility to follow.
Grant me the dedication to work untiringly for my country, its people and our freedom.
Teach me to be the best I can be, for myself and for others around me.
Fill me with the strength, the courage, and the willingness to do the job Iím called to do.
Help me to believe in truth, speak out for justice, defend the flag and uphold the American ideas that make our country the wonderful land it is. This prayer was given to me by someone else but I believe that Pvt Johnson already knew this prayer before she signed the papers to join the Army. I met Pvt Johnson at basic training, she was my inspiration then and she is still my inspiration now. Johnson never complained about anything. She was always ready to go. These few words in the Soldierís Creed describe Pvt Johnson more than any words that I could come up with,
I WILL NEVER ACCEPT DEFEAT
I WILL NEVER QUIT
This is who she was and will be remembered as. She never left me behind and she will always be in my thoughts. She was loved and respected by all that met her."
SPC Sesay, Kadiatu of Indianapolis, IN

"To the Johnson family,
God Bless you during this difficult time. We extend our thoughts and prayers to you for the loss of your LAVENA. May you find some comfort in knowing that she is an American Hero and will not be forgotten.
LAVENA - thank you for your service and sacrifice for our country. We celebrate your life and honor your memory always. May the Angels watch over your family.
From a grateful family of a US Army Soldier, stationed in Iraq. 101st AVN Regt, Ft. Campbell. 10-20-05"
Sharon & Craig Erwin of Oregon, United States of America

"My deepest condolences to your family in the loss of an American hero. We had never met, yet I feel I know her as she has had so many wonderful comments on her from those who walked God's earth with her. My son is in boot camp and I know that no matter what happens after he graduates, God will always walk with him. God bless you for such a fine young lady and may your memories see you through these terrible days. Know that she earned wings--golden wings-- and one day, you will meet again. And if there was evil involved in her death, there is no greater judge than God--for He knows all. Again, we will never forget our Fallen Heroes."
Lynn Newsom of Prince George, Virginia

"My sista, I never meet you or your family. Iím a single parent raising my 7-year-old daughter. I wouldnít know what I would do if God took her away from me.
To the family, friendís and those that will miss you feel you in their hearts when your name is mentioned. We love you and will never forget you. I will never forget you."
Capt. Jay, Bernard USMC of Arlington, VA

"I would like to pay my respects to Lavena and her family. I graduated from HAZELWOOD CENTRAL in Lavena's class. I did not know her personally, but seen her around and heard about how nice she was to others. I was enlisted in the service, but was discharged because of an incident with the police before my ship date. It makes me feel real guilty that one of my classmates died in Iraq while I am sitting here still. I understand they are investigating the cause of death, but no matter what the actual cause was, she still died in service to our country and deserves that respect."
D.Acevedo CHS 04 of Florissant,MO

"To the family of Lavena, our prayers go out to you for the loss of this great soldier. It is sad to know another US soldier has been lost due to this fight in Iraq. I was a member of the 129th many years ago and I know that Lavena was surrounded by the most loyal and caring people in the Army, as it is their job to "Support" the military. My husband is from Florissant and a active duty soldier for over 20 years and staioned at Fort Campbell. So when we heard of her death it was only right that we should take the time and recongnize her dedictaion to service and her love of country. To her parents you should be commended for raising such a beautiful soul and know that her time on earth, though short, will always be remembered through her great sacrafice. God Bless all of you."
Valerie Callaway, SFC, US Army Retired of Clarksville, Tennessee

"I would like to send my deepest sympathy and prayers to the Johnson Family, I attended Hazelwood Central with LaVena... I knew her personally.. and to read all the negative news and see this happen to such a cheerful, honest, a full of life person.. is hurtful.. no words can express how hard it is to know someone... like LaVena.. and know she aint with us anymore.. The truth will come out soon and when it does... She'll rest peacefully in a better place.. God Bless..."
L - c/o 03 of Florissant, MO

"I am the wife of a US Army Combat Medic. I was at your daughter's funeral today, even though I have never met your family. My husband and I both graduated from Central in '96 and '97... so I felt as if we were family - a military family and part of the Hawk family. Words cannot even express my grattitude to her for her service to our country or my sympathy to you for your loss. May God bring you the comfort that only He can provide. And may the Army provide you with the details that you need to finally feel at peace."
SPC and Mrs. Richard Arnold of Forissant, MO

"The Salute


To those who have died,
And to those who have cried.
We Salute You.

To those who have lost,
Paid the ultimate cost.
We Salute You.

And to those who still serve,
The Red White and Blue.
Our grateful Nation,
Proudly Salutes You.""
Tom Balstad of West Warwick, RI

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. America will forever honor your Hero.
The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the sacrifice that was made and we will NEVER FORGET.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"For Lavena's family and friends; May your faith and precious memories of Lavena guide you through this difficult time. My children attended Hazelwood Central, 1 was in Lavena's class and I lost a brother in Iraq in 2003 so my heart goes out to you all as I know the days ahead will be bitter/sweet- bitter for the loss and sweet for the loving memories that all will share. I hope you are able to find memories that make you smile to help offset the emense pain you are feeling. Again, my heart goes out to you and I will pray for your strength to carry you through."
Connie Greene of St. Louis, MO USA

"To the family and friends of this Hero,

Remember that your loss is shared by many friends who care and that you're in our thoughts and hearts and in our every prayer. May your memories give you strength, peace and comfort. God Bless you."
Dawn C. of Benld, Illinois

"As a retired veteran of the USAF, the father-in-law of a USMC veteran living in Blue Springs, I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family. May God bless each and every one of you during your loss."
Greg & Suzan Maggard of Holden, MO

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Lavena will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you ALWAYS. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"I offer my deepest condolences to you, and your family. I work at Hazelwood Central but only just recently, so I did not have the pleasure of meeting your beautiful daughter. I thank you for raising a true American HERO. She had accomplished so much in her way too short time here on this earth. May God's angels be with you now and always!"
E.P. of Florissant, Missouri

"To Lavena's family and friends,please know that you have the gratitude and tears of your country. Lavena made a strong choice for Liberty and Freedom when she chose to stand up against Terror. May God strengthen you knowing that we, her fellow Americans, care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you""
D Musgrave of Rineyville, KY

"TO THE JOHNSON FAMILY FROM THE WAHL FAMILY. WE ARE DEEPLY SADDEN BY THE LOST OF LAVENA. WE LOST OUR SON LAST YEAR. AN LAVENA AS GREGORY HAVE NOT GIVEN ONE'S LIFE IN VAIN. LAVENA IN A SHORT HAS TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. ALL THOSE HEARTS SHE HAS TOUCHED. ALL HOLD VERY FOND MEMORIES BOTH SHARED TOGETHER. AS WE REMEMBERED LAVENA TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER ALWAYS. WE ARE THANKFUL THAT LAVENA HAS MADE AMERICA ALOT SAFERE SINCE 911. AN APART OF IRAQ TO HAVE HOPE, FREEDOM AND LIBERTY. LAVENA IS A HERO! ONE SOLDIER WITH A MISSION IN LIFE. TO BE APROFESSIONAL SOLDIER ANSWERING A CALLING FOR THE BETTER OF US ALL IN THE WORLD. GOD BLESS!"
LEONARD WAHL of VALLEY STREAM NY

"To the Johnson Family, I wish to offer my deepest condolences to you. Your Lavena is a true American Hero who will always be remembered and honored. May God Bless you all. We are all praying for you."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"Thank you Lavena Johnson, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Pvt. Lavena Johnson:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Lavena for the sacrifice she has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Pvt. Lavena Johnson:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. She will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Lavena, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on