"The fact he was a Christian and an officer beared a big impact on how he influenced others," said Bishop.
Johnson's younger brother, Michael, is a current student at Evangel. Students at the university said they consider the brothers part of their family.
"When a member of that family is gone that you've come to know and love, especially being in the Army, it's extremely hard," said Bishop.
Johnson's teachers and friends said they will remember Johnson for his smile, his kindness, and his heart for serving others.
Johnson's family traveled from Wisconsin, to Dover, Del., to pick up their loved one's remains on Thursday morning.
Army news release:
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – According to the Dept. of Defense, 1st Lt. David A. Johnson, 24, of Horicon, Wis., died Jan. 25, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered after encountering an improvised explosive device (IED) while conducting a dismounted patrol. 1st Lt. Johnson was a platoon leader assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
According to unit records, Johnson was commissioned in 2010 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and he is a graduate of Evangel University, Springfield, Mo. In 2011 he attended the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Benning, Ga. He arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in August 2011, and was assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The unit deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December. This was 1st Lt. Johnson’s first deployment.
Johnson’s civilian and military education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Evangel University (2010), Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course (2011), Combatives level 1 and 2 (2011), and the Stryker Brigade Combat Team Leaders Course (2011).
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Overseas Service Bar.
On behalf of the entire Joint Base Lewis-McChord military and civilian community, we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of 1st Lt. Johnson.
Statement from Johnson's family:
Andrew and Laura Johnson and their children Michael, Matthew and Emily would like to honor their son and brother David with the following official statement:
“We are very proud of our son. He is a hero. He first was a man of God. He has been a strong leader at Mayville High School, at Evangel University and to the men in his unit. David had no fear of adversity; he lived life to the fullest. There are no regrets. He is an American hero. We love him very much and miss him very much.”
Part of a letter from Lt. Col. (Ret) Kirby A. Hanson, who was David’s ROTC Commander in Springfield.
“David was an outstanding cadet in every aspect of military training…He was destined to serve in the Infantry and I was certain he would excel…Aside from the Army life, David was a kind, well mannered, fun young man.”