Desiree Davis said she will miss her son’s “amazing” smile.
Army Spc. Nathan Tyler Davis, 20, of Yucaipa, was killed Saturday when a bomb exploded under the armored vehicle he was driving in Tore Obeh, Afghanistan. Three other soldiers were injured in the blast.
Desiree Davis said her son, who went by Tyler, was an outgoing, personable man.
“He has so many friends,” she said. “It’s been very touching and very heartbreaking, the people that are sending us messages and cards.”
Davis had a generous streak from the time he was a young boy, she said.
“When he was little and the ice cream man would come by, if he had three dollars in his pocket he would buy ice cream for all the kids in the neighborhood,” she said.
When he got older and was earning his own money by working, she added, it was not uncommon for him to treat his friends when they went for fast food.
The youngest of the family’s three sons, Davis was a 2010 graduate of Green Valley High School, a continuation school. Principal Corey Loomis said that when Davis arrived as a student during his junior year, he wasn’t much of a student.
“School wasn’t his most favorite thing,” Loomis said. “I had to ride him a little bit for attendance and tardies, but I also knew he was working, sometimes full time.
Loomis said that during Oak Glen’s apple growing season, Davis would get up at 4:30 a.m. to load and unload trucks before coming to school. Even though he wasn’t much interested in spending time in class, Loomis said, the young Davis was always more mature than his fellow classmates.
“He was a clean kid, and he was always focused,” he said.
During the summer between his junior and senior year, Davis met with a recruiter and decided he wanted to enlist in the Army. His recruiter told him he had to graduate from high school.
Loomis said Davis returned to school determined to earn a diploma.
“He really hammered out his credits,” he said. “He actually graduated early.”
Desiree Davis said her son loved being a soldier, putting in extra work to get the positions he wanted. Even during rough training, she said, he would put a positive spin on the challenges he faced.
Except for a few comments about the early summer heat in Afghanistan, she said, “he never really complained about anything.”
He was a SAW gunner with his unit in Afghanistan, a job he had to fight to get, his mother said. Based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, Davis was a member of 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division,
“What really keeps me positive is knowing that he died doing what he loved,” Desiree Davis said. “That has given my husband (Kirk) and I both comfort.”
Davis’ Hometown Hero banner at Fifth Street and Wildwood Canyon Road in Yucaipa will be replaced with a memorial banner during a ceremony at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 17. Other services for Davis are pending.
5 years later The Nathan Tyler Davis Foundation is Honoring Tyler, we never forget what Tyler did for his brother.
On 9 June 2012 at 0730 local time Afghanistan my life and that of my three-team member inside the truck will be changed forever. We were lead truck, in our Maxx pro which we named "Bone Crasher". We had spent several hours the last couple of days fixing it, adding lights, making a way so we could listen to music, and adding extra ammo and a couple extra things to keep us safe inside the truck, or so I thought, and once we dismounted safe also.
The day started like most, up early to make sure the truck was started, radios were on and working, the gun was mounted, oiled and had clean good ammo, plus a 40mm hand held launcher with smoke and a couple flares, we also had a few he rounds to just in case. I had a couple extra minutes so I ran to call Sara, my wife. We joked about the possiblility of being her pregnant, since she had me fixed 7 years ago. Surprisingly, after 31 pregnancies test she told me that she was, we joked a little and I told he I had to go, I loved her, and would call later. I then went to my mission pre-brief.
Once I walked in the room and joked a little everyone seemed a little off. After it was over, myself and Chris Norris asked if we could push it back a couple hour our platoon leader said no, we told him that something was wrong. I was the auctioning platoon sergeant, so moved out to the trucks talking like always, I got my final number that where going out, did my radio checks called the PL gave him the number jumped in my truck and moved to the gate once at the gate we met up with our peers from the Afghanistan nation army, there were ten of them to my 20 and we had 5 Afghanistan boarder police going with. I never trusted any of the ABP they are very dirty, so I was in the lead ANA truck behind me, then the pl, then Chris and the other two Afghan trucks and then Jesse, who did a great job.
We moved down the road SPC Nathan Davis was driving, SPC Nick Williams was in the gun and we were talking and watching all around us as everyone moved on the route I picked. Every US truck stayed on the same path, we had been out the gate may be 10 or 15mins , when the IED went off.
Everything I am saying now is an account of what Nick and Chris remember.
The IED was between 450 to 500lbs from EOD. Everyone said there were rocks and dusts flying though the air, my truck had white smoke from the fire system going and thank God it did. Nick said the truck was blown in the air and tossed into two pieces the cab and the under part with 4 wheels, the truck landed it cut nicks hand off and knocked him from the gun back inside the truck, he picked his own hand up and " said I may need this later". Nick and Chris said it took a couple minutes to get up too us just in case there was something waiting for them. They got to us and found Nick was ok, the camera guy in the back was ok, and the local national we had was fine. They checked and SPC Nathan T. Davis was KIA. I pray every day the Lord has him. When they came to check me, at the time I didn't have a pulse, they called for special items to get us both out we were pinned inside the truck. They laid two body bags on the ground to place Davis and myself in.
The Nathan Tyler Davis Foundation
It was five years ago today I was informed that I might not ever see my dad again. I just wanted to say how proud I am of you and that I love you to the moon and stars and so much farther. I was told that there had been an accident, and that you'd been hurt. I didn't know how badly or if you were ok, but I knew that I had to be strong for my sisters and for mom. I wasn't there that day in Afghanistan, nor did I experience this the same way that you did. My experience was different, I got to sit outside while you were in surgery, waiting, I got to comfort you when you were sad or hurting. I got to watch Star Wars so many times I lost count, I got to laugh and joke with you (especially when I would scare the janitors at night). We spent the summer in the hospital with you because that's what family is supposed to do, we stick together. Together or not at all.
On the day that I was told about the accident, I don't really remember how mum told us, I think I ran away, it's all a blur. But I do remember that no matter how much I wished for rain to chase away the sun, it stayed bright and clear. You went through so much and stayed so strong through all of the surgeries and the hard times. You were as stubborn as always, when they told you that you wouldn't be able to walk again, you pushed back and said "no, I've got four weddings to walk at". I'll never forget how strong you were during everything.
This accident gave me new family members too, Nick who is my brother. And Tyler, the guardian angel I never got the chance to meet. Thank you.
Thank you, daddy, for showing me what bravery looks like, and how to be strong when everyone assumes that you'll fall apart. Thank you for staying on the phone with me during those times when I'd catch the scent of bleach and cleaning supplies and be brought back to the hospital, and coaching me through panic attacks when it all came crashing down.
We are Hoseas. Together or not at all.