Monday, July 03, 2006

A Tribute to A Fallen Hero - Pfc. Justin R. Davis

Pfc. Justin R. Davis, 19, of Gaithersburg, MD, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y. He died in Korengal Outpost, Afghanistan (near Kunar Province), on June 25, 2006, when he came in contact with indirect fire while on patrol during combat operations, and has gone "forward" to a better place, a new "assignment" -- one of permanent status. While the circumstances of his death are under investigation as a possible friendly-fire incident, we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that what ever the cause of death may have been, Justin is "partying hardy" with his Savior. "Forward" is the motto for the 32d Infantry Brigade. And "Forward" Justin has gone.

Justin, thank you for your sacrifice. You gave your life for freedom, and now, you have moved "forward." Thank you friend. "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21 And, to Justin's family, thank you for sharing your son with us for just a brief moment in time. He touched many people.

A bit about Justin:

All his life, Justin wanted to make a difference. He also wanted to become famous. Justin graduated from Col. Zadok Magruder High School in 2005 after attending Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA for a year. While attending Magruder High School, Justin was a member of the football team, and the JROTC. After he graduated, he enlisted in the Army was deployed in March of 2006. He had plans to attend UCLA after he finished in the Army, where he planned on studying acting.

Justin was such a joy to be around. He smiled with his entire face. He was always up-beat, and loved to joke, laugh, and talk, and Justin loved his family and friends fiercely. Justin wanted to be an actor, and a "Ninja." Whenever I would ask him what he was going to do with himself when he graduated from high school, he'd say, (and I'm not kidding) "I'm going to be a ninja!" He'd come to youth group dressed in fatigues or in his black sweat pants or black cargo pants, and his hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his face... and he, in his mind, "was a ninja." On his space, he listed his heroes as God, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bruce Lee. Everyone loved Justin. Rare was the person that didn't.

Justin had a passion for the military, and he wanted to make a difference in this world. When he had finished basic training, he seemed excited about his military career, because he was getting to do what he wanted to. A fellow soldier said about Justin: "He was well liked and carried himself so well... He exuded leadership and was an inspiring guy to be around. He worked his way up to squad leader in charge of about eight people... he definitely had that leadership charisma - when he talked, everybody listened. He was bright in every sense of the word and was the first one there anytime something needed to be done."

There were several youth leaders that influenced his life, as well. Two youth pastors (myself, and Craig), and three youth leaders - Sunshine, "B", and Keith. Sunshine and "B" helped me write this post, and here are a few extra things they remember about him... he was very agile and like to strike a karate pose, he could crack a joke with such seriousness, and one day, he stole "B's" Yukon, with a youth lying on top of it, and went for a little "joy" ride around the neighborhood by the church, giving us all a major "headache." Also, he would always volunteer to pray, and would share very mature prayers.

He was lovable, and he was also loved. He will be missed, but not forgotten.


shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

Remembering with you--

Muzik said...

My Son is with the 2/87 in Afghanistan right now.
You are in my HEART - ALWAYS...
Margi Chambers

Susanne said...

Beautiful tribute to your friend, Gibee!

Mama D said...

That was so beautifully written. I almost feel as though I know him through your words. So sorry for your loss but it must be comforting to know that he is in Heaven.

Heather Smith said...

Beautiful post. It's hard to understand why his life was cut short, but like you said, he has moved forward to a better place! A place I long to be! And I'm sure for his parents and many of you who knew him, the thought of heaven is sweeter now that he is there!

aggiejenn said...

What a beautiful remembrance. Thank you for sharing about such a sweet guy.