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Service and Sacrifice: 3 Wars & 3 Generations of Service

4:37 PM, Feb 11, 2011   |    comments
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Throughout the month of February we are reporting a mini-series of stories focused on families in East Tennessee with a rich history of military service.

The Davis family history includes three wars and three generations who served their country.

In our on camera interview Rex Davis described his family's history of service including his own time in the Korean War.

In one memorable moment of his tour overseas Mr. Davis described his meeting with an Academy Award winning actress who grew up in Knoxville, Patricia Neal.

Mr. Davis was in a crowd of a few thousand troops watching a U.S.O. show in a makeshift stadium the Americans carved out of the ground in Korea called the "Bulldozer Bowl."

"(Ms. Neal) asked if there was anyone from Tennessee. Up went my hand," said Mr. Davis. He stepped up for a picture with his "hometown" gal.

And recently, before her death in August of 2010, Mr. Davis was able to reconnect with Ms. Neal and surprise her with a copy of the photo.

"Got to see her here and present that picture and she broke down and cried. Not only was she a good actor, she was a good citizen," said Mr. Davis

In addition to our on camera interview Mr. Davis also agreed to answer 10 questions we have asked of many of the veterans who have appeared in our Service and Sacrifice series.

1. What one person influenced you most in life?

I guess my oldest brother Leonard. He was a great leader.

2. Do you feel honored and respected for serving your country?

I really do. There aren't many people that can wear the combat infantry badge.

I really do. There aren't many people that can wear the combat infantry badge.

3. How can people thank you for your service?

A handshake means a lot.

4. How do you honor your fellow service men and women?

I never fail to thank them. We have something in common to talk about. We laugh about the good times and try to put the bad ones behind.

5. How do you think this generation of service men and women is different or similar to yours?

I think this generation is much smarter. It is a more sophisticated fighting force.

I think this generation is much smarter. It is a more sophisticated fighting force.

6. What influence did your military service have on the rest of your life?

I guess it made me a better citizen. It made me appreciate our country quite a bit more. I'd say my service made a man out of me. It made appreciate life better.

I guess it made me a better citizen. It made me appreciate our country quite a bit more. I'd say my service made a man out of me. It made appreciate life better.

7. Does your family have a history of military service?

Yes. Dad WWI. Four brothers WWII. Son joined the Marine Corps.

Yes. Dad WWI. Four brothers WWII. Son joined the Marine Corps.

8. Would you encourage younger generations in your family to join the service?

No. It pretty tough life.

No. It pretty tough life.

9. How has your opinion of war changed?

There are no winners in war. If a war can be won with talking its better than fighting if that can be handled.

There are no winners in war. If a war can be won with talking its better than fighting if that can be handled.

10. How did your military experience shape your faith?

It gave me a lot more faith in my fellow.

 

The Davis family history includes three wars and three generations who served their country.

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