A High Ranking Army Official Misused Government Money To Fund An Affair
Kris Johnson did everything to support her husband’s Army career as he rose through the ranks but when he arrived home, she realized something was off.
Something nagged at Kris Johnson when her husband, U.S. Army Col. Jim Johnson, returned home from almost four straight years of deployment to the Middle East. She considered maybe he just needed time to decompress and recover from the horrors of war — he’d deployed not long after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and had only been home for a few brief stints in several years.
Kris was excited to have her husband home with her and their two children, but time didn’t solve his distant, cold demeanor towards her and the kids. The lack of intimacy and his withdrawal from the family weighed on her, but she pushed it to the back of her mind when Jim got word that he’d been selected to command an infantry brigade in Italy. It was a coveted position in the Army — Kris and the children would go with him and live in Italy while he worked. They made the transatlantic move in 2008, but the horror was just beginning.
Duty, Honor, Country
Kris was a college junior at Mount Saint Mary College in 1985 when she went trick or treating in the barracks at the nearby United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. It was there that she saw Jim Jordan, a senior, studying at his desk and largely ignoring the costumed co-eds chatting with his fellow recruits. Kris struck up a conversation with Jim, and it was love at first sight. The two began dating and knew by the end of the school year that they wanted to spend their lives together.
Kris was excited to build a life with Jim. He was duty-minded and trustworthy. He had career goals and aspirations. Kris, who did Army ROTC in college and went on to complete U.S. Airborne School, ended up putting her own military career on hold to fully support Jim. They were married on May 17, 1987, and the couple was hopelessly happy. Kris stepped into the dutiful role of army wife and moved their two children from base to base as Jim rose through the ranks. He was ready and had Kris’s full support as he answered the call of duty after 9/11 and was deployed to the Middle East.
Answering that call would ultimately unravel his marriage.
Out of Character
When the Johnson family made the move to Italy in 2008, their marriage only grew more strained. Jim was often angry and Kris felt like she walked on eggshells. He remained withdrawn from the family, but he was adamant that the family host a massive New Years Eve celebration.
Kris was exhausted, but relented to Jim’s demands. While she expected he had a guest list, she was shocked when he announced he would be driving six hours to the Netherlands to pick up an Iraqi family to come spend the holiday weekend with them. The family, Jim said, had been his interpreters while he was deployed. When Jim arrived back in Italy with his friends, Kris was briefly hopeful that it would be a fun weekend after all. The family seemed nice as they arrived, but then Kris’s blood ran cold.
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