December 19, 2001

Our local hero laid to rest

By Kathy Helms-Hughes


   Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis was many things to many people. Some never knew him. Still, at his death they sent letters from across America to console his wife and family.

With the sound of a 21 gun salute and a lone soldier playing Taps, Master Sergeant Jefferson Donald Davis was carried to his final resting place by members of the 5th Special Forces Group.

As orders were read, his family was presented with the medals that he had earned.

According to Military tradition, the flag which had covered Davis's casket was reverently folded and presented to his wife along with the prayers of a grateful nation.

Photos by Jason Harville/Rick Harris

December 18, 2001

Community shares Davis family's grief
By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   Eighteen members of the 5th Special Forces will escort the body of their fallen brother to his final resting place at Happy Valley Memorial Park following funeral services at 2 p.m. today at Elizabethton High School.

Davis's wife is consoled as she says an emotional goodbye. Photo by Rick Harris

Davis's wife, daughter and son embrace.

Davis's son looks on.

Mourners wait in line to console the family

Davis's uniform

Mourners pay their respects

Special Forces soldiers perform a changing of the guard

December 17, 2001

Davis returns home

From Staff Reports

   The body of Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald "Donnie" Davis was returned to Elizabethton Friday escorted by military and law enforcement officials.

An Honor Guard (upper left) composed of law enforcement officers from several agencies render honor as the remains of Master Sgt. "Donnie" Davis are transferred to the chapel at Tetrick Funeral Home.

In a procession (bottom right) led by law inforcement officers, the body of Master Sgt. "Donnie" Davis is escorted to Tetrick Funeral Home in Elizabethton. Photos by Rick Harris

December 9, 2001

Family's heartache too big for words

Sister recalls big brother's strength, childhood pranks

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   It seemed as though even the heavens shared in the grief for America's fallen heroes Friday. A light rain mixed with tears as the family of Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis stood in the driveway of their Watauga home to deliver a statement to the media.

Parents and siblings of Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis speak to the news media at a press conference on the lawn of their Watauga residence Friday afternoon. Photo By Rick Harris

Purple Heart sought for Davis

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   If the Tennessee Military Order of the Purple Heart has anything to do with it, Jefferson Donald Davis, 39, of Watauga will become a recipient of the symbol of merit.

M/Sgt. Jefferson D. Davis

   M/Sgt. Jefferson Donald "Donnie" Davis, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Unit, Green Beret, U.S. Army, age 39, 712 Shelton Circle, Clarksville, and formerly of Elizabethton, died Wednesday, December 5, 2001, in Afghanistan.

December 7, 2001

Death brings outpouring of community pride, support

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   We can only hope that when it's our time to go, someone remembers us kindly. If Jefferson Donald Davis lived as those who knew him remember, surely his life will find reward.

Garron Archer, a first grade student at Central Elementary and a neighbor of Lon and Linda Davis of Watauga, places a flag he drew on their yard to honor their son, Master Sgt. "Donnie" Davis, who died Wednesday in Afghanistan as a result of "friendly fire." Photo By Dave Boyd

Donnie Davis made the ultimate sacrifice

The war on terrorism hit home Wednesday with the death of Master Sergeant Jefferson "Donnie" Davis in Afghanistan. Davis and two other American soldiers were killed Wednesday when a U.S. bomb missed its Taliban target north of Kandahar.

Flags in the City of Elizabethton and throughout Carter County were lowered to half-mast Thursday to honor Master Sgt. "Donnie" Davis, a Watauga native who died in Afghanistan Wednesday. Here, Russell Kyte lowers the flags at the Monument on East Elk Avenue. Photo By Dave Boyd

December 6, 2001

Mother's premonition proves to be true

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   Linda Davis, the mother of Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis, awoke Wednesday morning with a feeling she couldn't shake.
   "I felt bad, like there was something wrong. I really didn't know what," she said.

Davis's death 'a sad deal'

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   Many of Jefferson Donald Davis's friends heard the news Wednesday about the U.S. soldiers who died under friendly fire in Afghanistan. But none of them really believed it would be someone they knew.