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.