When Army Specialist Aaron Davis found out he was receiving the Silver Star for his outstanding bravery on the battlefield, he tried to turn it down.
"I felt like I didn't want all the attention because I didn't do anything for attention," said Davis.
Davis, who was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173 Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was serving as an infantryman during his deployment in Afghanistan.
On July 13, 2008, Davis and his unit were attacked by 200 or more Taliban fighters while they were patrolling an area. During the ensuing firefight, Davis was hit with shrapnel to his right leg from a rock-propelled grenade.
Although injured, Davis remained focused on the battlefield and provided critical assistance to three severely injured soldiers until the arrival of a medical evacuation team.
"I wanted to help those who had more severe injuries than I did," said Davis.
When he returned from the evacuation helicopter, Davis was hit again. This time, the shrapnel impacted his body, arms and face.
"Blood was everywhere, I couldn't see, I was hurting everywhere. I didn't want to leave the premises or leave my comrades, but this time I had no choice," Davis continued.
After his second injury, Davis was evacuated from the battlefield for treatment and was soon transferred to a hospital in Germany. Davis went on to receive more treatment in Washington, D.C., followed by further rehabilitation in San Antonio, Texas.
"Although it is hard to think about what happened in the battlefield, I am glad I was there to help my comrades," said Davis.
For his heroic actions, commitment to his fellow soldiers and unflinching bravery under fire, Davis was recently awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart by Brig. Gen. James Gilman, Commander, Great Plains Regional Medical Command and Brooke Army Medical Center.
Davlyn Davis, mother of Davis, emphasized the ceremony was not only about her son but also for the ones that didn't make it.
"They are the true heroes; I'm proud to be a mom of a Soldier. Everyone involved in this journey took extraordinary measures to ensure my son and my family was in good hands," added Mrs. Davis.
Davis has continued to receive treatment, but has lost about 50 percent of his vision in his right eye. He hopes that when he makes full recovery he can return to be a squad leader with the Warrior Transition Unit.
Undeterred by his injuries, Davis has also been studying for a promotion to sergeant and will soon go before a promotion board.Excerpts from article by Maria Gallegos, April