Lance Corporal Johnny R. Strong was killed by an enemy sniper on June 12, 2007 during combat operations in Karmah, Iraq. He had been the first to volunteer to do an extra security sweep around the perimeter of the platoon’s temporary forward operating base. He died two weeks after his twenty-first birthday. LCpl Strong was serving as a mortarman to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Twentynine Palms, California and was on his second tour of Iraq at the time of his death. Strong was a 2004 A.J. Moore graduate who had dreamed of being a Marine since early childhood. He was an outdoorsman who loved to camp, as well as play soccer and baseball. He was musically inclined, and played the organ as well as maintaining an impressive amount of skill at bowling. He is survived by his parents.

Strong was also an avid gamer, and planned on involving himself in the video game industry after his time in the Marines was finished. His passion and desire to learn more about the gaming business earned him the nickname “Best Buy.”

Ashlie Devaney, a longtime childhood friend, said of Lance Corporal Strong that “He was always there for a friend.”

Lance Corporal Strong is was honored by his companion in combat, Jay Knight, through a Travis Manion Foundation Challenge Grant. Jay Knight rode across the country on a bicycle to raise money for the care of children in pediatric hospitals.

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