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His Coffin ‘Could Be Empty for All I Know’: Gold Star Widow Still Has Questions About Her Husband’s Death

Myeshia Johnson, in her first televised interview since receiving a controversial condolence call from Donald Trump about the death of her husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, said she wants the world to know what a great soldier her husband was—but she still has questions about her husband’s death.

The Gold Star widow spoke with George Stephanopoulos Monday morning on Good Morning America. The majority of Johnson’s interview with Stephanopoulos focused on her husband, his life and and the questions she still has about his mysterious death in Niger.


“I need to see my husband. I haven’t seen him since he came home.” – widow of Sgt. La David Johnson says she hasn’t been allowed to see body pic.twitter.com/2SM55xZfLf

— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017


In what authorities say was an Islamic State group-affiliated ambush that left Sgt. Johnson and three other American soldiers dead as well as five Nigerians, Sgt. Johnson’s body was the last to be found—a full two days after the attack happened. Conflicting reports about the ambush have made the deadly incident the subject of a Pentagon investigation, according to the New York Times.

Seventeen days after Sgt. Johnson was first reported missing in Niger, the fallen soldier was finally laid to rest Saturday in his hometown of Miami Gardens, Fla.

His widow still has a lot of questions for the Army.

“I want to know why it took them 48 hours to find my husband? Why couldn’t I see my husband? Every time I asked to see my husband, they wouldn’t let me,” Myeshia Johnson told Stephanopoulos, adding that the military told her the severity of her husband’s condition meant she couldn’t view his body.

“I need to see him so I know that that is my husband,” Johnson said. “They won’t show me a finger, a hand—I know my husband’s body from head to toe, and they won’t let me see anything. I don’t know what’s in that box, it could be empty for all I know. But I need to see my husband.”

She told Stephanopoulos that the military has been reticent to share details of her husband’s death with her.

“I don’t know how he got killed, where he got killed, or anything,” Johnson said.


“I don’t know how he got killed, where he got killed or anything.” – widow of Sgt. La David Johnson to @GStephanopoulospic.twitter.com/R8GuzrDpeW

— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017


Johnson also talked about the controversial condolence call from Trump, in which he told Johnson that her husband “knew what he was signing up for” and seemingly forgot Sgt. Johnson’s name. The phone call set off a public spat between Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), a longtime friend of the Johnson family, and the Trump administration.


“[Pres. Trump] couldn’t remember my husband’s name. … That’s what hurt me the most.” – Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sgt. La David Johnson pic.twitter.com/px5io2RbJB

— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017


“The president said ‘[Sgt. Johnson] knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways,’” Myeshia Johnson said during her GMA interview. “It made me cry because I was very angry with the tone of his voice and how he said it.”

Johnson also confirmed that Trump couldn’t seem to remember her husband’s name until he referenced that he had his report right in front of him—“That’s when he actually said, ‘La David,’” Johnson told GMA.

“I heard him stumbling over trying to remember my husband’s name, and that’s what hurt me the most,” the widow added. “Because if my husband is out here, fighting for our country, and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?”

She pointed out that her husband was an exemplary soldier, rising quickly through the ranks. “He had high hopes in a military career,” she said.

Less than an hour after the interview aired, Twitter Fingers himself took to to his favorite social media platform to dispute Myeshia Johnson’s story—essentially calling the Gold Star widow a liar.


NEW: Pres. Trump responds to Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, disputing her account of their call. https://t.co/BjRHD1zuMu pic.twitter.com/6vKnML09sK

— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2017


Myeshia Johnson also defended Rep. Wilson, who is in the crosshairs of the Trump administration for expressing her outrage at Trump’s conduct. The public battle took an ugly turn last week when Trump chief of staff John Kelly, himself a Gold Star family member, attacked Wilson for comments she never made and called her an “empty barrel.”

When asked by Stephanopoulos whether she had anything she wished to say to the president, Myeshia Johnson flatly declined.

“Nah,” she said after a quick pause. “I have nothing to say to him.”


“Whatever [@RepWilson] said was not fabricated. What she said was 100% correct.” – widow of Sgt. La David Johnson on Pres. Trump’s call pic.twitter.com/fOAmT7c0Bk

— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2017


Finally, Johnson—who is six months pregnant—was asked what she would tell her unborn daughter about the father she never knew, the father who, according to the Washington Post, had his wife’s name tattooed across his chest and had been known as the “Wheelie King” of Miami.

“I want to tell her how awesome her dad was,” Johnson said, “and [what] a great father he was. And how he died as a hero.”

source: the root

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