Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson issued the following statement to mark the one-year anniversary of the ambush in Niger that killed constituent Sgt. La David Johnson:
“October 4 marks one year since the tragic ambush in Niger that resulted in the death of four U.S. service members, including my constituent, Army Sgt. La David Johnson. The circumstances surrounding the attack have been muddled, raising questions about both the mission, which led to a firefight with insurgents, and the chain of events that separated Sgt. Johnson from his unit.
“I have pushed for answers to these and other questions to seek some conclusion for Sgt. Johnson’s family and our community. Piecing together a truthful account of the ambush and the period leading up to it has been an arduous process. Some of the information that has been released has only raised more questions and I remain skeptical of elements of the Department of Defense’s official report.
“I also have called for an official Inspector General oversight investigation into the events leading to the attack. In response to this heartbreaking episode, I also introduced an amendment that was signed into law earlier this year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Niger amendment, among other things, requires DoD to identify measures to improve preparedness and decrease operational risk.
“Sgt. Johnson is a true American hero of whom the Miami community is immensely proud. On this somber anniversary, my thoughts are with his Gold Star family, who have had to bear a terrible burden. An exemplary husband and father, Sgt. Johnson’s death is a reminder of the great debt we owe to those who pay the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a fourth-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school. Congresswoman Wilson also founded and chairs the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action in support of Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and the Workforce Committee.