Christopher A. Johnson

Christopher A. Johnson

Loved family, hard worker,
risk-taker, mischievous.

Christopher grew up in New Windsor, Maryland with his mother, Nikki, stepfather Kevin Shea and father, Terry Johnson. He had five siblings including, Samantha Graham, Madison Shea, Michael Johnson, Gabby Johnson and Jeremy Shea.

He was very close to his mother and her sister Sarah, as well as cousins, Emily and Ashley, who called him “Buddy.”

Christopher’s older sister Samantha described him as a “very rambunctious” child who was always a bit mischievous. He loved playing sports, especially football and lacrosse. He kept his grades up so he could play sports in school, but he never enjoyed academics.

He also enjoyed hunting with his father, grandfather, and Uncle Dave. They hunted deer, ducks, and geese. “Our dad tells a story about my brother who was such a natural that he killed a deer from a long distance with one shot when he was only 10-years-old,” Samantha said.

He’d try anything once; such as the time he tried to roller skate by going as fast as he could until he wiped out in front of family and friends. He also loved music and acting goofy.

Christopher graduated from Francis Scott Key High School in 2005. By that time, he had already enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was sent to South Carolina for bootcamp. His aptitude landed him on the sniper squad and two nine-month-long deployments to Iraq, where he acquired post-traumatic stress disorder.

His time as a distinguished scout sniper earned him numerous medals, but it also took a heavy toll on his health. In addition to suffering from PTSD, he injured his back and elbow during a Humvee accident during his second tour in Iraq. The military treated him with medication for his pain.

After deployment, he was stationed in North Carolina, where he continued to receive treatment and also earned an Associate Degree in electrical engineering from ITT Technical Institute.

Toward the end of his eight years in the military he married a girl from home, but he was continuing to have health problems.

After the military, he came home and got a job working for a sub-contractor for Comcast. That’s when his dependence on pain killers seemed to grow, leading him to “doctor-shop” for pills and spending a lot of money. Eventually, his wife left the marriage.

Christopher had a great big heart and loved to help other people. “He used to say, ‘Everyone deserves a second chance’,” Samantha said. He would have been good at running his own business – one that helped people in some way. He loved his family.

Samantha works in crisis intervention in the public schools now. “It’s a job that helps me as much as I help others,” she said.
Christopher’s sister, Samantha Graham, provided information for this profile.
Oct. 15, 1986 – Jan. 11, 2018
Age 31
Lived with addiction 8 years

Share this story from The INTO LIGHT Project

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

More Into Light Stories

Read more biographies from this exhibit.
Devin Hart Bearden

Devin Hart Bearden

Caring, athletic, bright, witty, attractive At 6’2”, Devin was lanky, handsome, and a natural athlete. Equally at home on a skateboard, snowboard, or when surfing, he was a pleasure to watch; so fluid and graceful. He was a good soccer and baseball player and loved hiking in nature or being at the beach, especially on the annual family beach trips to Hatteras in North Carolina. [...]
Read More »
Mariah Albee

Mariah Albee

Joyous, generous, loving, artistic. Mariah grew up as the only child of Valerie and Richard Albee in Severna Park, Maryland. She attended a Montessori school at age 3 and excelled. “Her childhood was remarkable,” said Mariah’s mother, Valerie.[...]
Read More »
Jimmy Alderman

Jimmy Alderman

Easy-going, loyal, prankster, thrill-seeker He was a firecracker as a child – a bit hard-headed, but playful. He loved Superman and often dressed up in a Superman costume and paraded around the house. Never actually outgrowing his superhero friend, Jimmy even donned a Superman outfit for his 30th birthday.[...]
Read More »
Michael Bixby

Michael Bixby

Artistic, intelligent, inventive, Charismatic, random story teller When Mike was nine months old, he could walk, talk and draw. From that point on he drew his way through life, using his talent as a way to process problems or express feelings, and to make people happy.[...]
Read More »

Bring an Exhibit to Your State

Interested in bringing The INTO LIGHT Project to your State?
Find out how you can make this happen.