Face of Defense: Soldier Touched by Recognition From Vice President
By Spc. Shejal Pulivarti, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2008 Within the vast crowd of troops assembled to hear Vice President Richard B. Cheney speak here yesterday, Army Sgt. Donald Davis reflected on the vice president’s visit to recognize the 1st Cavalry Division’s hard work during a 15-month deployment.
Army Sgt. Donald Davis, right, shakes hands with Vice President Richard B. Cheney as Cheney worked his way through the crowd of 9,000 soldiers to thank 1st Cavalry Division for the unit’s hard work during a 15-month deployment to Iraq. Cheney spoke at a welcome back event at Fort Hood, Texas, Feb.26, 2008. Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan Hoskins
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“Being here and hearing him speak is an honor. I was very excited when we were told he was coming back,” the Joliet, Ill., native said.
Cheney spoke about “undeniable” success and progress made during the 1st Cavalry Division’s tour, but also stated that “it’s not irreversible” and that there is still work to be done.
“We aren’t done yet, the fight is not over,” echoed Davis, a transportation noncommissioned officer with Company A, 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Davis rushed through the crowd following Cheney’s speech to get the rare opportunity to shake the vice president’s hand. “I can feel the appreciation; he understands the job we have to do and that we are in harm’s way,” Davis said.
Davis’ role in Iraq was to provide forward elements with essential supplies to enable them to conduct their operations as well as teaching, training and eventually partnering with the Iraqi army in logistical support.
“I firmly believe we have to introduce freedom and democracy in that area. Nobody has anything against freedom; nobody does,” Davis said.
(Army Spc. Shejal Pulivarti is assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.)