ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) – A 19-year-old Marine from Enfield was killed in Iraq over the weekend, a family friend confirmed Monday night.

Lance Cpl. Philip Alexander Johnson died Sunday morning with one other Marine as his unit was traveling from Ramadi, family spokesman Ron Jackman said.

Ramadi, about 70 miles west of Baghdad, is considered one of Iraq’s most dangerous cities and is patrolled by hundreds of Marines. The Marines are confined to bases during the day and return to the streets at night.

His parents, Louis and Kathy Johnson, were notified by the military Sunday night, Jackman said. Jackman said Johnson apparently was killed in a roadside attack.

A Pentagon spokesman said more information on the details of his death would be released Tuesday. The Department of Defense policy is to make details available 24 hours after the family has been notified.

Johnson is the second Marine from Connecticut to die in Iraq in just over a week. Cpl. Jordan Pierson, 21, of Milford, was killed Aug. 25. A memorial service for Pierson was held Monday. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

A 2005 graduate of Enfield High School, Johnson was fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a Marine, said those who knew him. He joined the Westover Young Marines when he was 11 and remained with the unit through high school.

“He started real early, which gave him a big heads up on everybody,” Jackman said.

Once he joined the Marine after high school, Johnson moved through the ranks quickly. He received his basic training in Camp Lejeune, N.C. then trained with a scout sniper unit. He arrived in Iraq on July 14.

“To attain lance corporal, that takes some doing,” Jackman said. “He made an impression. He was excited to go to Iraq.”

Funeral services are pending.

There have been 33 servicemen and civilians with Connecticut ties who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002.

Johnson is the second serviceman from Enfield to die in the war.

As news of his death spread, friends gathered to remember a young man with goals and a drive to help people.

“Every since I was a kid, all he wanted to do was be in the Marine Corps,” childhood friend Jordan Meyer told WTNH-TV. “I’m really proud of him. He’s one person who actually did what they said they were going to do in life.”


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