Wall will include local Marine's name

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 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 at 1 p.m. Saturday to honor Oregon's fallen service members who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During the ceremony, four new names will be unveiled: Johnson's, Pfc. Cody J. Eggleston, Chief Warrant Officer Joshua M. Tillery, and Pfc. Richard A. 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 on the north end of the ODVA grounds at 700 Summer Street N.E., Salem. For more information contact ODVA at 1-800-828-8801, ext. 2386 or 2390.

— Paul Fattig

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