Band of brothers: Greenwood clan together again for recent Freedom Honor Flight
by Dean Lesar
Leonard and Lois Johnson had four sons. They all enlisted in the U.S. Army. They all came home. The Johnsons were one of the lucky families.
Now, some 30 years or more since all of those Johnson boys came back to the farm near Greenwood, they’re still around to talk about their service days and to compare notes about time in Korea, or during the Berlin Crisis, or Vietnam. Earlier this fall, they took their Army brotherhood a step farther and participated in a Freedom Honor Flight to visit the various memorials to veterans in Washington D.C.
Dale, Sam, Harry and Ray Johnson were joined on their September trip by a fifth “brother,” one Danny Rossow, who grew up a few miles from Leonard and Lois’ farm and knew the Johnson family since he was old enough to tote a shotgun on family hunting trips. The Johnsons and Rossows have hunted deer together up north every year for decades, so it was only natural that Danny would come along when the Johnson quartet went to Washington.
The service story of this band of brothers dates back to 1956, when Dale graduated from Greenwood High and was the first Johnson son to enlist in the Army. He was stationed in Germany in 1957-58.
Ray came next, and the Berlin Crisis came along during his stint. Harry, a 1959 GHS grad, enlisted a few years after school and did his time in Korea as that country still simmered from the repercussions of the war from 1950-53. Finally it was Ray’s turn, and he served his duty stateside during the Vietnam War, from 1964-66. Rossow also enlisted in 1964, as an Air Force airplane mechanic who saw first-hand the carnage of Vietnam.
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