SSgt Johnnie O. Yellock II lived in San Antonio, TX when his Mom
& Dad were on active duty in the Air Force; Mother Reagan, Combat Camera
Lackland AFB and Father JOY Sr, HQ ATC/XPRL-Randolph AFB, circa late 1980s. JOY II
attended Churchill High School in San Antonio, then graduated from Keller High
School (DFW Metroplex). JOY II matriculated at Tarleton State University,
graduating in 2006 with a BS degree in Manufacturing Engineering. He applied for
OTS and UPT; however, the USAF 'queue' was full, so JOY II enlisted, top of his
class @ BMTS. JOY II applied for a Combat Controller Team training slot and
was accepted. He completed the three-year course uninjured, and at the top of
the class, recognized as the “John Chapman Award” recipient.
tours-of-duty downrange in the AOR …bringing Justice (fire-and-steel) down on
Islamic radicals who would threaten US citizens living in the CONUS and abroad.
He well understood that if the enemy was in-range …then he and his SOF mates are
also in-range; some of which have been WIA & KIA. JOY II was WIA himself,
along w/ his Combat Controller teammate in Afghanistan 6 July 2011 aboard a
Oshkosh® MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle hit by an IED.
JOY II represents "the very best" in
this new remarkable generation of highly focused and motivated American
warriors. If you have not known a combatant Airman downrange, then may
I suggest you follow the story of JOY II (a.k.a. JOY Jr., Johnnie Otis
Yellock II, etc.) on his long
Ὀδύσσεια from eastern Afghanistan
[AfPac AOR] the 'SSG Heathe N. Craig’ Joint Theater Hospital,
Bagram Airfield; to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, GE; Andrews AFB,
MD & RON-Walter Reed Army Medical Center; and final destination of
Lackland AFB and San Antonio Military Medical Center-Ft Sam Houston,
TX. Given JOY II’s focus, drive, and self-motivation, I predict a
remarkably rapid and successful recovery regimen. Bob Laymon, CMSgt,
USAF (Ret.) Yellock family friend & mentor - Scatback Scribe -
Click here to visit my facebook page for JOY II.
Above; Reagan, Johnnie II, Johnnie Sr., and Brandi Yellock
Above; Ray and Pat Forester
with grandson, Brandi and JOY II, Reagan and JOY Sr., and The Frank
Latt Family; LtCol Latt was the USMC F/A-18 Sqd Commander, last person
to talk to JOY II’s teammate SrA Mark Forester
who was KIA in Afghanistan Sept 29 2010. LtCol Latt, SSgt Bobby
Bonnello (CCT), and Johnnie were in the Lifetime Channel’s Coming
Home episode 4 which aired this past May.
Note; LtCol Latt will be the guest speaker at the CCS Graduation on December 8th, 2011.
Above; CMSAF Roy, Royal Australian CMSAF Millar, and President of the Combat Control Association; Wayne Norrad visit with JOY II
Below; 6 July 2012; With the assistance of a "Zero Gravity" Treadmill, Johnnie was able to
walk yesterday. The ZG treadmill enable the doctors to accurately control the
amount weight "loaded" on the lower body. Johnnie walked with 25% of his
|27 October 2011... JOYII WALKS
Above; First time Johnnie has been in uniform since being
WIA in Afghanistan, 6 July 2011. The occasion was SrA Mark A. Forester KIA
Afghanistan, 29 Sept 2010, (Johnnie's best friend, and as JOY II puts it "my
conscience") was awarded The Silver Star (Posthumously) 15 June 2012, for combat
actions in Afghanistan Sept 2010 at a ceremony @ Hurlburt AFB,
Below; A smiling father, JOY the 1st and Chris Larkin present JOY II with a Bronze Star and and Air Medal.
HURLBURT FIELD, FL – Walking on
the same feet that were shattered in an improvised explosive device
attack less than a year ago, an Airman from Air Force Special
Operations Command marched to the front of the base theater, executed a
facing movement and stood at attention to receive the Bronze Star Medal
June 26, 2012 at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
After spending some time in the area,
Yellock will be returning to the Center for the Intrepid, Brooke Army
Medical Center, Texas, to continue his recovery from his leg injuries.
With his mother and father (two
retired Air Force Airmen), various family, friends, and teammates in
attendance, Staff Sgt. Johnnie Yellock Jr., a Combat Controller with
the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron here and a recent Purple Heart
recipient, was presented the Bronze Star Medal for accomplishments
during his 2011 deployment to Afghanistan, in support of Operation
During Yellock's deployment, he
executed six missions as a joint terminal attack controller, attached
to an Army Special Forces team. Specifically, his duties centered on
controlling unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
aircraft to reduce IED emplacements along routes of travel. This
ensured Coalition freedom of movement, according to his Bronze Star
The task Yellock accomplished while
deployed were significant and trying, but no mission would be tougher
than his current battle -- recovering from an IED explosion.
While out on a mission in Afghanistan,
Yellock was riding in the exposed gunner's position of a mine
resistant, ambush protected vehicle when it struck an IED, destroying
the vehicle and wounding him seriously. Thrown clear of the wreckage,
his injuries were severe, including two badly shattered feet and a
wound to his heel that would not stop bleeding. Reacting instinctively,
he applied two tourniquets to his left leg and assisted the team medic
in applying a third to his right leg. Despite his wound, Yellock went
on to instruct the team leader how to select and mark a helicopter
landing zone, advising him how to properly control the inbound aircraft.
"To me, the most amazing thing is just
less than a year ago, both of his legs were shattered," said Lt. Col.
Chris Larkin, 23rd STS commander. "He's standing here today, in front
of us, walking down the aisle on his own two feet. It gives me great
pride to present these medals to Johnnie - they mean a lot to me."
With the help of the special tactics
community, Yellock is thankful for support he and his family have
received during the past year, as he recovers from his injuries.
"For this community to envelop my
family with the amount of love and support is just amazing," said
Yellock, native of Texas. "There's no amount of words I can say to
express how I feel. Its been an amazing year. The best part was that I
was able to walk down here, though I won't be able to sneak up on
anybody. My progress keeps getting better. I'm doing better than they
said I'd do."
Yellock was also presented the Air
Medal, first oak leaf cluster, for aerial achievement during a previous
deployment in 2010 to Afghanistan.
Brandi, Reagan, and I want you to know, your thoughts are lifting us up, and your
prayers are being answered. Thank you, and God Bless......Johnnie