MSG Johnie Lee Garrett (RET. USA) May 17, 1950 - May 9, 2018
It is with deep sadness that our family announces the passing of our beloved husband, father, Papa, father-in-law, uncle and brother. He was a humble hero who fought to live until his last day. He had cancer but cancer never had him. He leaves behind his loving wife, Cheryl, sons Scott and Neil (Tiffany)l and three grandchildren, Jaylen, Alexis and Cade Garrett and his dog Baxter who loved him so much.
Johnie was born in San Antonio, Texas but spent most of his younger years in Indio, California. He started his military career in October of 1967 at Ft Ord, Calif. It was during this time that he met Cheryl. From Ft Ord he went to Ft Knox, Kentucky then on to Berlin Germany. While on leave he ask Cheryl to marry him. Upon returning from leave he received his orders for Vietnam. He was given and emergency leave to come home to marry Cheryl. They said their vows on March 16th, 1969 and he left for Nam on April 20th, 1969. He was and Infantryman. He was assigned with the 1st Cavalry Division. He has always been very proud to be a member of the Cav. After being injured in Nam he was sent to Japan for medical attention then to Silas B Hays Hospital at Ft Ord. In December of 1969 he received orders to report to Ft Hood, Texas where he completed his tour of duty.
After his discharge he and Cheryl returned home to Watsonville, California where their first son, Scott was born in 1971. In November 1973 he decided to join the California Army National Guard. In November of 1975 their second son, Neil was born. Johnie was the part time solider until March of 1985 when he took a full time position with the Guard until October 2003. He then tried the civilian life until February 2005 when he put the uniform back on and took a State Active Duty job with the National Guard. He was assigned to the Office of Homeland Security and Office of Emergency Services. He stayed at that job until his retirement on December 30th, 2016. He retired as a Master Sargent. Just a few of the awards he received during his military career were two Bronze Stars for Valor, three Purple Hearts, three Vietnam Campaign Ribbons, Combat Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge with 16 Mission related Air Assaults, Jungle Expert Badge and Rappel Master. He served his country and state with pride and honor for over 47 years.
During his time working with HLS he assisted well over 1.7 million responders in the State of California to attend some type of HLS training. He also developed programs that have assisted in tracking training, grant funds that have exceeded over 300 million per year. He built a network of Federal Training providers throughout the nation that relied on him to vet/approve training not just in California but nationwide. He enjoyed his job and the people he worked with very much.
When Johnie wasn't being the solider or working with CalOES he enjoyed spending time with his family especially the grandkids. He loved decorating for the holidays. He never wanted to go to anyone else's house for Thanksgiving because he loved his wife's cooking and wanted to make sure he had plenty of leftovers. He enjoyed working in the yard and bringing a bouquet of roses into his wife. He loved watching USC football games, Lakers Basketball games and his favorite program, NCIS. He loved talking sports with his sons and when Neil played basketball in high school, college and semi pro he enjoyed going to his games. He enjoyed his son Scott's fantastic military diagrams and military models that he made for him. He loved to go to casinos.
Johnie fought a long and hard battle to beat the skin cancer that had given him problems since October of 1989. No matter how many surgeries at Stanford or radiation sessions he went through he would go to work and not complain. He was a strong man. His family loves him and will miss him so very much but knows that he is in a better place and has no more pain. He is home with God. He served his state and country with pride and honor and his family is so very proud of him.
As per his wish he will be placed to rest at the Central California Veterans Cemetary at Ft Ord on May 17th at 11am. He will be honored with full military honors. After the service family and friends with gather at the 1/149 Regiment Headquarters building at 140 COL Durnhjam St at Ft Ord. Anyone wishing to make a donation to a favorite charity in his name the family asks that your first choice would be any organization helping Veterans.
His family would like to thank all his Stanford doctors, his Hospice caregivers and especially his wonderful doctor, Jon Starr and his staff in Menlo Park.