Bill to name a section of U.S. 23 after fallen soldier signed into law 

LANSING, Mich. — Today Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) was honored to host the family of fallen soldier Sgt. Joe Johnson at the Capitol for a bill signing to memorialize their son. Gov. Rick Snyder signed Sen. Ananich’s bill to rename a stretch of road in Genesee County after Sgt. Johnson, who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

The “Sergeant Joe Johnson Memorial Highway” will begin at the intersection of U.S. 23 and Thompson Road and extend north to the intersection of U.S. 23 and Bristol Road. It is a stretch of road that Sgt. Johnson’s father, Dennis Johnson, drives every day on his way to work.

“Today was a very special day for all of us,” Sen. Ananich said. “It was a privilege to have Sgt. Johnson’s family here to watch the bill be signed and to reassure them that the state will never forget their son’s sacrifice. Now, whenever any of us drive on that road, we will think of Sgt. Johnson and all he gave for us.”

Sgt. Johnson was born in Flint and graduated from Carman-Ainsworth High School. In 2006, he joined the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan three years later. His life was cut short when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. 

His mother, Teri Johnson, has advocated on her son’s behalf to ensure he is properly honored, and her work inspired Sen. Ananich to sponsor the bill.

“Joe will never be a memory,” Teri Johnson said. “By naming this stretch of highway after him, people are going to say his name and he will never fade. They say that a man can never die while his name is still spoken, and our Joe will never die.”

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