Medal of Honor Recipient Shares Story With Troops
(April 30, 2011)
|FORT BENNING, Ga. (Apr. 27, 2011) - In Cai Lay, Vietnam,
Nov. 18, 1967, a young Soldier helped rescue his injured
comrades by swimming across a river on an air mattress
despite having a broken back, three broken ribs, shrapnel
wounds, a gunshot wound and not being able to swim.
Disregarding his injuries, he stood up and fired at enemy
soldiers and protected his comrades until it was safe to
transport them back across the water.|
Bob Jerome, (left) of
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, interviews retired
Sgt. 1st Class Sammy L. Davis, a Medal of Honor
recipient, at Ft. Benning, GA on April 27, 2011.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Sammy L. Davis, a Medal
of Honor recipient, shared his story with 240
Fort Benning, Ga., Soldiers from the Maneuver
Captains Career Course, Officer Candidate
School, Noncommissioned Officer Academy and
Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course April 19,
2011, at Pratt Hall.
recapped what happened as he and 41 other
American Soldiers fought against 1,500 Viet Cong
soldiers. After rescuing other Soldiers, Davis
continued to fight until he was incapacitated.
"You don't lose until you quit trying," he
said. "It was a lesson I learned on the
riverbank, and at that time I thought it would
probably only apply to me in a combat situation.
But what I have found out in the last 44 years
(is) that no matter what you're involved in and
no matter where you are -- no
matter what you're faced with, you don't lose
until you get to that point where you go 'I
Only 12 of 42 Soldiers survived
the confrontation. Davis said the surviving 11
men recommended his name for the Medal of Honor.
"In my opinion those 11 other men should
have Medals of Honor also, because if any one of
us had not done our job, none of us would have
survived," he said.
later, Davis tours the country speaking to
troops. He said it would have helped him as a
young Soldier "if people would have come and
shared with me what was in their heart."
But now he has the opportunity to help guide
"I open up my heart and
let them look in and I answer any question that
they have," he said. "And like I tell them,
there is nothing too personal. If you want to
know the answer I will open my heart and tell
you my truth."
Davis received the
decoration in 1968 from President Lyndon B.
Johnson for his conduct during the Vietnam War.
The Medal of Honor, he said, was about
love and not hatred.
"There are still
those who believe the Medal of Honor signifies
the hatred that goes along with war, and that's
the farthest thing from the truth that there can
be," Davis said. "The Medal of Honor is about
love. It's the love in your heart that allows
you to have the physical and mental strength to
do impossible tasks to help your brothers or
The Medal of Honor is the
highest military decoration and is presented to
Soldiers who distinguish themselves,
"conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at
the risk of his life above and beyond the call
There are 85 living recipients
of the Medal of Honor.
Article and photo by Adrienne Anderson
Army News Service
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