Medal of Honor winner Sammy Davis visits Camp Vohokase

We have good kids in this country ... Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Davis

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Medal of Honor winner Sammy Davis speaks to campers at Light Foundation Camp Volokase. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – The Light Foundation’s Camp Vohokase welcomed Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Davis and his wife Dixie to the camp at Chenoweth Trails.

Upon founding the Light Foundation, Matt dreamed about starting a camp where young men could learn lifelong skills that would help them be R.E.A.L (Responsible, Ethical, Accountable, Leaders). The Light Foundation’s premier program, Camp Vohokase has done just that.

“This has been an incredible day for the kids in this camp and everyone that serves this camp,” said Matt Light. “We have so many people that come together, they sacrifice their time but to be amongst a true hero and someone who has dedicated their life and their lives, Dixie and Sammy have stepped into the lives of everyone here today through their story and through Sammy’s way of life.”

Medal of Honor winner Sammy Davis (L) and Light Foundation founder Matt Light. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Private First Class Davis earned the US Military’s highest award for his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.  Sgt. Davis (then Pfc.) distinguished himself during the early morning hours while serving as a cannoneer with Battery C at a romote fires support base.

Davis spent two days at Camp Vohokase, sharing life lessons with the campers and staff.

“We have good kids in this country,” said Davis. “We have parents that need work but we have good kids and it’s our job to keep inspiring the youth to stand up for what they believe is right in their heart –    that’s our job.”

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Davis speaks to Camp Vohokase campers while wife Dixie looks on. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Sammy Davis, Medal of Honor (Republic of Vietnam)

At approximately 0200 hours, the fire support base was under heavy enemy mortar attack. Simultaneously, an estimated reinforced Viet Cong battalion launched a fierce ground assault upon the fire support base. The attacking enemy drove to within 25 meters of the friendly positions. Only a river separated the Viet Cong from the fire support base. Detecting a nearby enemy position, Sgt. Davis seized a machine gun and provided covering fire for his gun crew as they attempted to bring direct artillery fire on the enemy. Despite his efforts, an enemy recoilless rifle round scored a direct hit upon the artillery piece.

The resultant blast hurled the gun crew from their weapon and blew Sgt. Davis into a foxhole. He struggled to his feet and returned to the howitzer, which was burning furiously. Ignoring repeated warnings to seek cover, Sgt. Davis rammed a shell into the gun. Disregarding a withering hail of enemy fire directed against his position, he aimed and fired the howitzer, which rolled backward, knocking Sgt. Davis violently to the ground.

Undaunted, he returned to the weapon to fire again when an enemy mortar round exploded within 20 meters of his position, injuring him painfully. Nevertheless, Sgt. Davis loaded the artillery piece, aimed, and fired. Again he was knocked down by the recoil. In complete disregard for his safety, Sgt. Davis loaded and fired three more shells into the enemy.

Disregarding his extensive injuries and his inability to swim, Sgt. Davis picked up an air mattress and struck out across the deep river to rescue three wounded comrades on the far side. Upon reaching the three wounded men, he stood upright and fired into the dense vegetation to prevent the Viet Cong from advancing.

While the most seriously wounded soldier was helped across the river, Sgt. Davis protected the two remaining casualties until he could pull them across the river to the fire support base. Though suffering from painful wounds, he refused medical attention, joining another howitzer crew that fired at the large Viet Cong force until it broke contact and fled. Sgt. Davis’ extraordinary heroism, at the risk of his life, is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.