FORT STEWART, GA (WTOC) - The family of Sgt. Johnny Lumpkin joined with his Army family inside Warriors Walk to remember him. His wife, Carol, who grew up in the military herself, remembered when Johnny told her, at age 31, he was enlisting.
"I was happy when he came to me and said 'I talked to your dad. I quit my job and I'm joining the Army'. I was exstatic," she recalled.
"Certainly for a man in his 30's, the choice was the path less traveled, but this was the way Johnny Lumpkin would take," explained Brigadier General Jeffrey Phillips, deputy division commander.
Commanders reflected on his service and enthusiasm. Carol summed it up with the line of a song.
"Loud proud and country, by the grace of God. That was my husband and he'd tell you that," she said with a chuckle.
Lumpkin died in a equipment accident in Iraq. It happened July 2, one day before their wedding anniversary.
"That morning I got up and opened my almost-anniversary email and went to Facebook and found my almost-anniversary post there." she said. "That was the last thing I got was him saying 'I love you and can't wait to get home." she detailed.
On Thursday, she placed a flower at his memorial tree where both families can remember him. The relatives and comrades consoled each other. Both seemed determined not to forget the soldier and the man they both knew.
"He always thought of other people so I'm always proud of him and he's my hero," Carol said.
Sgt. Lumpkin's tree brings the total number of soldiers remembered in Warriors Walk to 434.