Fallen Fort Bragg Soldier's Legacy Lives On

Fayetteville Observer | Drew Brooks

Two decades after her father died in a Fort Bragg training accident, Hannah Davis isn’t quite sure what memories are real.

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The faint recollections of her childhood — Davis was 3 when her father died — have merged with stories shared with the family over the past 20 years.

But there’s one story that Davis knows is all hers. It starts with her mother, Ann, toweling a young Hannah off after a bath. “It’s super embarrassing,” Davis said.

She remembers her mother wrapping her up tight — arms and all — in a towel and then sending her off to her father. “I’d run out to the living room to see my dad and he’d goofily yell ‘Where’s your arms?’ and I’d shake my arms free,” Davis said.

“I love hearing my dad’s voice,” she said, after taking stock one more time of the cherished memory. “I can hear it in my head.”

First Lt. Jeffrey Davis died on Jan. 31, 1998. But the decorated soldier — who served in the enlisted ranks prior to becoming an officer — has left behind a legacy that is much more than a handful of medals.

Davis — now working for local FOX and CBS affiliates near Cadillac, Michigan — said she and a younger brother, Blake, are her father’s legacy.

That makes it all the more important to succeed, she said.

At the same time, her father’s sacrifice has given her a nudge in the right direction.

Thanks to scholarships from the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Davis said she’s a 23-year-old college graduate with no student loans.

“It’s such a blessing,” she said. “Without a doubt, it’s fantastic. I know it’s a gift from my father.”

Davis said it’s amazing how so many people step in to support the families of fallen soldiers. But it’s a feeling she almost didn’t know for herself.

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