KIA: May 7, 2010 in Helmand province, Afghanistan
Friends and family wiped away tears as they shared memories of 19-year-old Josh Davis. The Marine from Perry was killed in action last Friday in Afghanistan. The community he grew up in came to Perry High School Wednesday night for a vigil in honor a young man who left Perry a hero and is returning home the same way.
One of his old coaches called him a “good egg.” His father called him a good son. “From as young as I can remember, his goal was to become a Marine,” says Dave Davis. His oldest son’s childhood dream came true after high school. But to achieve his ultimate goal, Josh paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Josh was only 19-years-old. He’s done more in his short life than I’ll ever be able to accomplish in a lifetime,” says Davis. While he speaks with pride about his son, it still doesn’t ease the pain of seeing his son return home in a way he never imagined. “You had a C-130 parked there with the back gate down and a flag draped box sitting up in that very large plane. That’s when you realize what’s in that box and that’s when it’s really hard,” he says.
Davis shipped out to Afghanistan in March and just days before his death, he was promoted from Private First Class to Lance Corporal. As family and friends gather tonight to remember Josh, his father says the worst part of losing a son to war is yet to come. “If an elderly relative dies, everybody’s sad, but to come to a 19-year-olds funeral is really breaking a lot of people up.”
The Marine will be laid to rest at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter. His father says he will be the first Iowan killed in action buried there.