|From Kitsap Sun kitsapsun.com
Former Bremerton Man Killed in Afghanistan
By Ed Friedrich
Monday, November 5, 2007
Johnny C. Walls
Sgt. 1st Class Johnny C. Walls, who served in the Army for 22 years after graduating from Bremerton High School in 1985, was killed Friday in Afghanistan.
Walls, 41, died in Uruzgan, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire. He was a cannon crew member on a transition team. The teams serve as advisers to the Afghanistan military and police.
Walls' mother and stepfather, Patsy and Roger Johnson, reside in Port Orchard, as does his sister, Roxana Browning and his grandparents, JC and Florene Walls. A brother, Harvey, lives in Salem, Ore. His father, Jimmie C. Walls, passed away in 1979.
Walls leaves behind wife, Alene, and stepson Brent Fitts in Lawton, Okla. Grown sons Alex and Bradley live in Waterstown, N.Y.
Walls began his Army career as a field artillery specialist, and he spent time as a gunnery sergeant, recruiter and drill instructor. He served a tour in Iraq in 2003. Duty stations included Fort Sill, Okla., Fort Lewis, Fort Polk, La., Fort Stewart, Ga., Germany and Korea. At the time of his death, he was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.
Walls felt it was time for him to return to the Middle East because other soldiers were already on their second or third deployments, said his sister, Roxana, 43.
"He didn't feel bad about going at all," she said. "He wanted to go. The Army was his life."
Walls was more nervous about getting out of the Army, which he planned to do when he came back from Afghanistan, she said.
Walls didn't return to Kitsap often, but he kept in touch.
"He was here a couple years ago, thank goodness," Roxana said. "He was just going to have his birthday (Nov. 15) so we were all getting stuff together to send the day we found out."
Walls was as funny as he was quiet, said his siblings. He wore bright pink bunny slippers to his high school graduation, Roxana said.
Walls was always a tough guy, said his brother Harvey, 44. Big for his age, he was a hard-hitting linebacker at Bremerton Junior High. He didn't grow much more, however, peaking at about 5-feet-7 and 170 pounds. Instead of continuing with football in high school, he worked after classes.
Growing up in Bremerton, Walls loved to fish off local docks, his siblings said. Harvey remembers the two of them playing football and flying kites at Ivy Green Cemetery off Naval Avenue. They liked to build model ships, take them down to the bay and blow them up with firecrackers.
Walls was actively involved in Bremerton's Hillcrest Assembly of God, where he sang in a quartet.
Roxana held on to a note Walls wrote to her when he was 16 years old. It says, "If I ever called you a Twinkie, it's because you're so sweet." He said to save it, and she did.
As an adult, Walls enjoyed fishing, gardening, cooking, tinkering with his '69 Mustang and spending time with family.
A funeral service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A memorial service will be at Christian Life Center in Port Orchard. The date hasn't been set.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the "Johnny Walls Memorial Fund" can be sent to P.O. Box 1955, Port Orchard, 98366.
Walls is the second soldier with Kitsap County ties to be killed in action this year, and the seventh overall. Pfc. Charles B. Hester died May 26 in Baghdad, Iraq.