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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Army Sgt. La David Johnson grew up in Miami Gardens, married a local girl he knew since he was 6 years old and was expecting his third child with her.
He rose through the military ranks — becoming a sergeant after just three years in. But his life ended in Niger last week after his Special Forces unit was attacked.
His wife, Myeshia, is devastated.
“I told him before he leave that I love him and make sure he come back to me,” Myeshia said. “And he told me he was. And for them to knock on my door it just… my whole life changed in an instant. My husband was my soul mate.”
According to the military, Johnson was assigned to a Special Forces unit assisting and advising Nigerians on dealing with terror groups. They were attacked and three other soldiers died. Johnson’s body was recovered two days after the attack, following an all-out search.
“That was one of my main goals was for him to come home,” Myeshia said. “He needed to come home because we needed that closure for our family.”
Johnson’s family gathered in Miami Gardens Monday to grieve together and celebrate his life.
They remember his charm and his love of cars and bikes. He was known as the “Wheelie King.”
Myeshia says her goal is to keep her husband’s memory alive for his daughter and son and unborn child — another daughter — who is due next January.
“We have a lot of memories and videos and pictures and great times with him that we’ll cherish forever,” she said.
Myeshia said her husband, known as “T,” planned to make a military career. For him, she said, it was a way to accomplish his goals, serve his country and make a life for his family.
“For him not to be with us anymore is just heartbreaking and devastating because I don’t know what I’m gonna do without him,” she said. “He was everything to us.”
There is no word yet on funeral arrangements but we are told the services are expected to take place here in South Florida.