Hero returns home for last time
By Robin Scott
Even those who have not been personally affected by the loss of a loved one to war have been moved to show their appreciation for a debt that may never be repaid. The City of Dalhart mourns the loss of a young man born and raised here, who graduated from Dalhart High School and who has tragically lost his life serving his country as a member of the United States Army. His loss occurred on Saturday, September 19th, as he lay sleeping in his bunk in Afghanistan, halfway around the world.
Sgt. David A. Davis, a 28-year-old son, husband, father, brother and friend, is coming home to his hometown of Dalhart for the last time. He should have been on leave this week, but instead, he’ll be honored by area residents at his funeral. The government has flown his body from Dover, Delaware to Ingram Airfield today and on Saturday, a service will be held at First Baptist Church to honor him and say goodbye to a beloved member of the community.
Roy “Bernard” Davis, father of Sgt. Davis, stated that on Sunday two men from Fort Hood knocked on his door. He knew they were coming, as he had spoken to his daughter-in-law the night before. He stoically opened the door and blankly stared at the two men in Army Dress. He heard, “The Secretary of Defense is saddened to inform you that your son was killed in Afghanistan.” That sentence is now a permanent memory filed in his mind with other memories of a son gone too soon. He noted, “I had just talked to David a week ago Saturday, which was the first time I had gotten to talk to him in several months. They don’t have internet service where he was at or good phone service.” He also noted that his son was scheduled to start his leave on the Wednesday after he died. He was planning to come home to Dalhart for two weeks. Bernard stated, “He was going to come home and we were going to have a cookout. Liberty, his little girl, just turned one on the day before he died and we were going to celebrate her birthday.”
Sgt. Davis leaves behind a large family who will miss him terribly. Wife, Devon Davis, resides at Fort Carson in Colorado with five of their children. Bernard stated, “She had four children when they met, and he loved those kids just as if they were his own and treated them like his own and we did too. And Liberty, she was born a daddy’s girl, and nobody could hold her but David.” In Dalhart remains David’s father Bernard, mother Vicky Williamson, grandparents Hoyt and Alene Davis and brother Roy Lynn Davis. Sgt. Davis also has a son, Dustin Davis, who resides with his mother.
Sgt. Davis was based at Fort Carson, Colorado, where his wife and child resided while he was deployed. He was killed in an attack on Bagram Airfield north of Kabul and was asleep in his bunk when a bomb hit. Bagram is one of the most highly defended sites in Afghanistan. Several others were injured in the attack that took the life of Sgt. Davis. He was killed by indirect fire, which the Army states occurs when enemy forces “launch an assault without seeing the target.”
Sgt. Davis was a member of the Sustainment Brigade and was trained as a truck driver. His duties required him to drive necessary supplies such as ammunition and gasoline to soldiers on the front lines. His deployment to Afghanistan was his third, having served in Iraq on two separate occasions. His death marked the 842nd death of an American killed in Afghanistan.
Members of the Dalhart community have come together to honor Sgt. Davis and thank him for his sacrifice. Stevie Brewer of Coon Memorial Home stated, “We would like to say that our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We are grateful for his service and sacrifice for the freedom of this great country
Denise Baumert, also a mother of a household of children noted, “I didn’t know him, but I am so grateful for him, his family, and others in their situation. We pray for you all every day! THANK YOU, AND GOD BLESS YOU!!” Angela Fowler Reynolds who knew Sgt. Davis commented, “I watched him grow up and he was a very nice, sweet young man. He was always helpful and it’s no wonder that he had six kids. He loved kids, and they loved him.”
Susan Clark, a retired Army Nurse, stated, “I didn’t know him, but my pride for what he did for me and my country I am not able to express. I too was with the 4th ID at Ft. Carson. So I truly feel as if I lost a brother in arms, not just a fellow soldier. He is a hero not just to his friends and family, but to every American that is alive in this great country
Ernie and Robin Vela, two former teachers from Dalhart High School recalled memories of Sgt. Davis. Ernie stated, “I would like people to remember him as a nice guy and a good student. He was just a very nice
Lindy Beattie, a family friend, stated, “David was truely a hero who died doing what he believed in most. I have known the Davis family for many years and grew up with David and Chance. David had a big heart and always went out of his way to do anything he could for anyone. I will always remember what you did for our country. Love and miss you, David.”
Carol Smith, related to Davis by marriage, stated, “I didn’t know David, but my son-in-law is his cousin. A deep heartfelt GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.” Anita Ruiz, who resides in Dalhart stated, “I did not know David; however, I send out my deepest sympathies and prayers to his family and friends who do know him. He has sacrificed more than we could ever thank him for. Our family understands the loss of a fallen soldier. We lost one of our own in Iraq a few years ago. May God forever hold him in His arms. We all are praying for his family.”
Gaye Barton, a long time family friend, fondly remembered, “I can just see him carrying out my groceries at United Supermarket and he’d say, ‘I got you Ms. Barton, I got you.’” She further noted, “Of all the [Dalhart] kids that have gone over there, David is the first one to lose his life” Barton, who often substituted at Dalhart High School, also remembered teaching David and always enjoyed him as a student. Jonathan Scherer, a former classmate, noted, “David and I were in theater arts together in junior high, and he introduced me to my first girlfriend a year before she became my girlfriend. He was so outgoing and friendly and everyone liked him.”
Sgt. Davis joined the Army in 2001. He received many decorations including two Army Commendation Medals, an Army Achievement Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, an Iraq Campaign Medal with Combat Star, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, a NATO Medal and most recently a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
The debt owed to Sgt. David A. Davis is one that may only be honored, but never repaid. One very simple way to honor that debt is to bow a head and give thanks to him, his family, his wife and children and to those whose courage cannot be imagined. Take a moment to listen to the lucky few who live on to tell the stories of those who died.