Funeral held for Ft. Bragg-based soldier killed in Niger attack

COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — The funeral service for the U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa sparked a political spat between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman also honored the three other soldiers who died with him.

Sgt. La David T. Johnson in a photo from U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

Mourners exiting the 90-minute service told reporters that a portrait of Sgt. La David Johnson was joined by photographs of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia. The four died Oct. 4 in Niger when they were attacked by militants tied to the Islamic State.

The soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Mourners said the service at a church in suburban Fort Lauderdale, Florida, also focused on how the 25-year-old Johnson became a locally known bicycle trick rider, a loving husband and doting father before entering the Army in 2014 and becoming a member of the Special Forces.

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11:10 a.m.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39. (DoD)

A funeral service has begun for a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa sparked a political spat between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman.

Services for Sgt. La David T. Johnson began Saturday in a Fort Lauderdale suburb. Johnson was one of four U.S. Special Forces troops killed Oct. 4 in an ambush in Niger.

Johnson’s widow held the arm of an Army officer as she led her family, dressed in white, into the Christ the Rock Church in Cooper City. The family asked that reporters remain outside.

The squabble between Trump and Rep. Frederica Wilson began Tuesday when the Miami-area Democrat said Trump told Johnson’s pregnant widow that her 25-year-old husband “knew what he signed up for.”

 

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