Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Scholarship fund established for children of Miami Gardens soldier killed in Niger

Sgt. La David Johnson was killed in an ambush while with an advisory group in Niger, Oct. 4
Sgt. La David Johnson was killed in an ambush while with an advisory group in Niger, Oct. 4

The death of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, one of four soldiers killed Oct. 4 by ambush in Niger, wasn’t just another tragedy involving a constituent to U.S. Rep Frederica Wilson. So, she and her 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program decided to do something for Johnson’s survivors.

Wilson knew Johnson, his parents, his two kids and wife Myeshia Johnson, who is pregnant with their third child. Johnson hadn’t just gone through the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program Wilson founded in 1993, he’d been a leader among leaders. Johnson’s cousins went into the program also, saying they were followed his example. Wilson couldn’t help but recognize the numeric parallel of Johnson being killed at 25 early in the program’s 25th school year.

“He was a true role model,” Wilson said of the young man known as Wheelie King for his bicycle tricks before he enrolled in the Army.

While part of an advisory group in Niger, Johnson didn’t make it out of an attack the Department of Defense blames on The Islamic State. ISIS increasingly teams up with fellow extremist Islamic group Boko Haram, the terrorists in Wilson’s prime international cause, the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria.

So, the 5,000 Role Models of Excllence program has established Role Model Army Sgt. La David Johnson Scholarship to ensure Johnson’s three children will have money for college. A gofundme page has been set up for those who wish to contribute.

President Donald Trump and U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson from Miami Gardens feuded over a call he made to a fallen soldier's widow. Sgt. La David T. Johnson was killed in an ambush during a joint-military mission in Niger on Oct. 4, 2017.

Johnson’s visitation will be Friday at Christ the Rock Community Church, 11000 Stirling Road, in Cooper City. His funeral will be Saturday at Christ the Rock.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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