On June 25th 2019, Sergeant James Johnston of Trumansburg was killed in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan. Due to Sgt. Johnston’s courage, the Tompkins County Sheriff selected him to be the first recipient of their Champion Award. The award was presented at the Tompkins County Legislative Chambers to Sgt. Johnston’s father-in-law who accepted it on the family’s behalf.
“This is amazing, I mean James would never want something like this, he was just liked doing what he did. He was one of the bravest men I ever knew, of course he took on my daughter so he had to be,” says Fredrick VanDerzee, Father-in-Law to Sgt. James Johnston.
VanDerzee spoke to everyone in attendance this morning and told them about how James told him that if he had to die, he wanted to do it fighting for the country he loved. This, among various other reasons, is why the Sheriffs Office chose Sgt. Johnston to be the recipient of this award.