Florida soldier killed in Niger ambush receives posthumous medal

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Maj. Gen. John Deedrick, left, presents the Silver Star Medal to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, during a ceremony, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Johnson was killed in action during operations in Niger in 2017. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI (AP) — The family of a U.S. soldier killed during a 2017 ambush in the African nation of Niger has received his Silver Star Medal in South Florida.

Maj. Gen. John Deedrick presented the award Friday evening to the family of Army Sgt. LaDavid Johnson during a ceremony at Miami Gardens City Hall. Johnson was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in the ambush and ensuing firefight.

They were on a mission to capture or kill a high-level Islamic State group leader in West Africa on Oct. 4, 2017, when they were attacked by more than 100 extremists.

The Army has approved nine awards for valor, including four awarded posthumously to Johnson and the other soldiers killed.

The Silver Star Medal is the U.S. military’s third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat.

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