CBS News Talks To The Family Of A U.S. Soldier Killed In Gang Initiation
(CBS) U.S. Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson got a hero’s welcome while home on leave in June of 2004.
“Not only did I love my son – but my god – I liked the man he was becoming,” his mother, Stephanie Cockrell, remembers.
But that trip home was the last time his family saw him alive.
When Johnson died, he wasn’t in a war zone, he was in Germany.
“He had finished his term in Iraq,” his mother said. “I talked to him the day before his death. He said, ‘Mom, I’m in the process of discharging out. I’ll be out in two weeks’.”
On July 3, 2005, Sgt. Johnson went to a park not far from his base in Germany to be initiated into the ‘Gangster Disciples,’ a notorious Chicago-based street gang. He was beaten by eight other soldiers in a “jump-in” – an initiation rite common to many gangs.
“My son never spoke of joining a gang,” Cockrell told CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras.
Johnson died that night from his injuries. His son, Juwan Jr., was born five months later.”I feel like I didn’t prepare him enough to deal with this and I should have,” his mother said. “But how would I have known there were gangs in the military? I could have had that talk with him.”
Clearly, no matter what incentives are offered, no white family should pemit a child or other family member to join the US war machine. Plus, according to offical gospel, whites are fundamentally bad people who have brought uncounted suffering and pain to the world. Who’ll miss us? Surely not Uncle Sam?