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Native coordinates talk show host’s Naval visit

A television talk show host is bringing Christmas greetings to afew soldiers stationed overseas during the holidays this year, anda soldier with local ties to Brookhaven is assisting with thepreparations in one location.

Talk show host Montel Williams, of the Montel Williams Show, hasbeen touring the Persian Gulf this holiday season to spend timewith troops overseas. The special episodes highlight the life ofenlisted personnel who must spend their holidays away from theirfamilies and loved ones.

Lt. Ben Johnson, formerly of Brookhaven, has been assistingWilliams and his film crew while they are aboard Johnson’s ship,the USS Debuque.

Johnson is the son of Ruben and Betty Johnson, of Brookhaven,and is now serving his second six-month obligation aboard the Navyship. Johnson is stationed in Annapolis, Md.

Williams will surprise many of the enlisted soldiers withvideotaped messages from their wives and children.

Betty Johnson said the crew of Debuque will be featured today ona special Christmas episode of the Montel Williams Show, but shewas unsure whether her son would appear on camera.

Lt. Johnson is married and has two sons.

The Montel Williams Show will air today at 3 p.m. on WLBT.