Leverett Butts - Musings of a Bored English Teacher

Occasional web log from Southern writer Leverett Butts.

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Location: Temple, Georgia, United States

English Professor in Georgia. Writer of Southern lit

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Rob Davis is one of my two oldest and closest friends. Take care of yourself over there, Rob.

From the Newnan Times Herald:

Newnan man among departing troops

Published 5/17/05



Rob Davis is off to war -- heading to Iraq.

Davis -- officially Capt. Robert C. Davis -- and comrades in the 148th Forward Support Battalion of the Georgia Army National Guard got an official sendoff at Ft. Stewart and Savannah on Saturday. His wife, Stephanie, said she had gotten a call from Davis on Monday. "He was in Ireland," she said.

She expects an e-mail message from him when he gets to Kuwait, the last stopping point before moving into Iraq.

Rob Davis, 32, grew up in Newnan. He went to college at Virginia Military Institute for four years and then served in the military -- spending four years at Ft. Drum in New Jersey.
The field artillery officer and his wife, Stephanie, figured he would be heading somewhere overseas right after he joined the National Guard. He signed with the Guard two days before terrorists struck New York and Washington in the 9-11 attacks.

"We've just been waiting. We knew it was going to come," she said.

"He was activated at the end of October," his mother, Glenda Davis, said. Rob Davis has been teaching fifth grade at Heritage School, where he has been on the faculty for three years.

A week of sendoff activities, including a farewell party with the departing soldier cutting the cake, was held at Heritage. The school also created "a Citizen Soldier Award for the student who showed the qualities of a citizen soldier," Stephanie Davis said.

Glenda Davis said her son is the fourth generation of his family to serve overseas in the military. His great-grandfather served in France during World War I. His grandfather was stationed in India during World War II, and his father served in Vietnam.

The festivities at Ft. Stewart were attended by several family members including Stephanie Davis, the couple's children Page and Zach, Glenda Davis and the captain's maternal grandparents, Jake and Melba Grooms of Newnan.

Stephanie Davis's students at Trinity Christian School made signs that she took with her for the sendoff.

"They did mention in the course of the ceremony that this was the largest National Guard deployment since World War II," Glenda Davis said. Some 4,000 members of the Georgia unit are headed to Iraq.

Gov. Sonny Perdue and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson spoke at the ceremonies, along with the commanding general of the Georgia National Guard. "It was really impressive, being able to hear everybody speak," Stephanie Davis said.

She said her only tearful moment was when the troops marched off the field, giving the sense of going to war. She remembered it as "my proud military wife moment."

She said she had seen military ceremonies at Ft. Drum but never anything on "such a big scale."

The deployment to Iraq will be Davis's first overseas duty. "He's excited," his wife said. His leaving was "obviously bittersweet" for him, she said, because he will be "missing the family."

She reflected, "He's finally getting to fulfill his sense of duty to the country."

Davis is scheduled to be in Iraq for 12 months. "He's expecting to be home by the end of next summer," his mother said.