Funeral arrangements set for fallen Mayville soldier

MAYVILLE -- Funeral arrangements have been announced for 24-year-old David Johnson, a First Lieutenant in the Army, from Mayville, Wisconsin, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan for just five weeks.

A visitation will be held Saturday, February 4th from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Mayville High School gymnasium, and again on Sunday, February 5th from noon until 2:00 p.m.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 5th at 2:00 p.m. at the Mayville High School gymnasium. At 4:00 p.m. Sunday, David will be taken to the Veterans Memorial of Mayville in the City Park by the park pavilion, where military honors will take place.

David will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Memorials may be directed to the family, and donations will be made to numerous organizations, including Veteran's Memorial of Mayville, Fisher House in Dover, Bay Lakes Council of Boy Scouts of America, Mayville FFA and Crosswalk Missions at Evangel University.

Red, blue and a spot of yellow surrounded Johnson's childhood home. Down the hill and across the street, neighbor James Qualmann says he heard the news on the radio. "Just kind of shocking. I thought right away it had to be our neighbor. Very hard for the family, I'm sure," Qualmann said. Qualmann has lowered his flag to half staff in Johnson's honor.

In a statement, Johnson's family writes: "We are very proud of our son. He is a hero. He first was a man of God. He has been a strong leader at Mayville High School, at Evangel University and to the men in his unit. David had no fear of adversity. He lived life to the fullest. There are no regrets. He is an American hero. We love him very much and miss him very much."

Johnson graduated from Mayville High School in 2006.  His principal called him a true gentleman who was active on the football team, FFA, and in several other activities.  He says Johnson was known for his faith, friends and strong family values. "I use the word 'gentleman.' That was David. His commitment to his friends, family, faith and service, I think that was a big part of his life," Mayville principal Lee Zarnott said.

Johnson's father is the publisher of the Dodge County Pioneer newspaper.  He immediately flew to Dover Air Force Base where David's body is expected to return to American soil Thursday night.

There has been no announcement yet on service arrangements, but members of the Pioneer newspaper will be placing yellow ribbons throughout town on Friday, as well as a wreath at the War Memorial.

Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., says Johnson was a 2010 graduate and was in command of the Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division. He visited the university last November for a special Veterans Day service.

Campus pastor, John Plake, says Johnson was a well-respected student leader who served as a commander in the school's ROTC program. He is survived by his parents and three siblings.

For additional details, see the press release on Evangel University's website by clicking here.