Funeral for Sgt. Jefferson Davis
5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
|Reprint from AP Wire
Story Filed: Tuesday, December 18,
2001 9:45 PM EST
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (AP) -- A Green Beret killed earlier this month by an in Afghanistan was buried with full military honors Tuesday and remembered as an outstanding soldier.
About 400 mourners attended the funeral service at Elizabethton High School, where Army Master Sgt. Jefferson Davis was voted ``most sweetest'' when he graduated in 1981.
``He was the kind of Special Forces soldier anyone could be proud of,'' said David Beireis, who became a Green Beret 12 years ago this month with Davis.
Next to the casket at the front of the gymnasium was a letter by his daughter, Christina, framed with a photo of Davis on a motorcycle.
``My father was a great man, and I love him and I'm proud of what he did,'' the 14-year-old wrote.
Davis, 39, was killed Dec. 5 along with Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser, 28, of Frazier Park, Calif., and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory, 32, of Cheshire, Mass. All three were members of the Army's 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Twenty other soldiers were injured and six Afghan fighters were killed when the errant bomb hit north of Kandahar.
More than two dozen of Davis' Special Forces comrades were among the mourners Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey C. Lambert, commander of the Green Berets, presented a Silver Star for valor, a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge to Davis' widow, Mi Kyong Davis.
``It hurts. I hate losing such fine young men, but it's for a good purpose,'' Lambert said after the service.
Davis was buried with military honors in Happy Valley Memorial Park, about five miles from his hometown of Watauga, where his parents still live.
At the cemetery, bagpipes played ``Ballad of the Green Beret'' and ``Amazing Grace,'' and a trumpeter blew ``Taps.''
Friends recalled that Davis, who joined the Army in 1983, loved motorcycle riding, fishing and spending time with his family. Among those attending the funeral were members of the Rolling Thunder Vietnam veterans motorcycle club.
``We lost a lot,'' said Master Sgt. Monty Flanigan, who served in the same battalion with Davis. ``He is as good as there is.''