Marine from Central Point added to state memorial

Marine from Central Point added to state memorial

The name of Robert L. "Robby" Johnson, the Marine Corps lance corporal from Central Point who died in Iraq late last year, has been added to the wall at the Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial in Salem.

Johnson, 21, who died of noncombat causes in Iraq on Dec. 20, was the son of Brad and stepmother Marie Johnson of Central Point. The 2005 Crater High School graduate, on his second tour to Iraq, was assigned to the 5th Combat Logistics Battalion, 1st Combat Logistics Regiment, 1st Marine Logistics Group, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs will hold a memorial ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday to honor Oregon's fallen service members who have died while serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During the ceremony, four new names will be unveiled, including Johnson's, Pfc. Cody J. Eggleston, Chief Warrant Officer Joshua M. Tillery, and Pfc. Richard A. DeWater.

DeWater, 21, who died April 15 of wounds from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, attended Grants Pass High School in 2004 and 2005 before moving to Topeka, Kan. where his father lived. He had lived in Grants Pass on and off since he was two, according to father, Robert DeWater.

The families and survivors of those killed while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq will also be honored at this public ceremony.

The memorial is a place of reflection for those recalling service men and women who have died in battle, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Jim Willis, director of the ODVA.

"Each of these fallen heroes volunteered to serve and protect the nation they loved," Willis said. "We are grateful for their gallant service, and are reminded of that when reading the plaque near the memorial which says, 'All Gave Some, Some Gave All.'"

Willis will host the ceremony on the ODVA grounds. Oregon Army National Guard soldiers will post the colors and a wreath will be placed at the memorial.

The ceremony is being held on the date of the original Memorial Day observance which was May 30, 1868. Since 1971, the holiday has been celebrated on the last Monday of May.

The Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial was dedicated in November 2006 and is located on the north end of the ODVA grounds at 700 Summer Street N.E., Salem.

Johnson's previous deployment to Iraq was a six-month tour completed in March 2007. He had just married his wife, Elizabeth, before leaving in August for his second Iraq tour.

He drove Humvees during his first tour and operated a gun on the vehicle during his second tour, according to family members.

Since joining the Corps on Sept. 19, 2005, he had been awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or e-mail him at

Share This Story