Why Do you Fly your Flag? - Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Jefferson Davis
- Jun 02, 2017
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Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Jefferson Davis comes from a long line of Americans putting duty, honor, and love of country above all else. Flying the American flag is not just about the 4th of July or Memorial Day for Davis. His flag flies every day in honor of those that have come before him and those who have sacrificed in service of the country he loves.
His family’s military tradition began during the founding of the United States―the American Revolution. Ancestors from Kentucky and Tennessee were part of the forces responsible for a decisive victory against Loyalist militias at The Battle of Kings Mountain. Both sides of Davis’s family were involved in the Civil War and family lore places his great-great-grandfather at the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War.
Continuing the tradition into the 20th century, both grandfathers served in World War I. His maternal grandfather earned the rank of First Lieutenant as a scout pilot with the Lafayette Escadrille―Americans who volunteered for the French Air Service. A family story tells of his grandfather taking pot-shots at German flyboys while toasting with cognac during dawn patrols. During World War II, his father was an LST Commander and was part of the first wave of the Sicilian invasion force. An uncle jumped at Normandy with the 101st Airborne Division and earned a Silver Star during his service. The uncle continued his service in the Korean War and was killed two days after the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953.
Davis’s family is filled with patriots. The moto of “duty, honor, and country” was a drum beat that shaped his young mind. In addition to the men he admired from his family, the community that surrounded him played their role to reinforce this moto. His Boy Scout leaders were all World War II combat veterans, and a seemingly unlikely source of patriotism was Davis’s first grade teacher. She was a French Resistance fighter against the Nazis in World War II. Every day she escorted the class outside to raise the American flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. While raising the flag she would remind the class how sacred it was to her and how great America was for the world. Her patriotism left a lasting impression on him.
Raised knowing his duty was to serve his country, Davis easily recalls the day his Vietnam draft papers arrived – the morning after an all-night fraternity toga party. After two years of active duty and receiving deployment orders for Vietnam, his orders were rescinded days before the end of the war. Following the war, Davis went back to school earning a Master of Arts in History but was soon back in the service of his country. Decorated for his work with the Pentagon and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal after 9/11, he took his skills to a new role as classroom teacher. His fondest memories are of teaching at Pruitt Military Academy, a St. Louis City Public School. “A lot of the kids were like my own sons and daughters,” Davis said. He takes pride in that he could teach children discipline and self-respect through his work. He has since heard from many of his students who have overcome life’s challenges in part due to Davis’s lessons.
Now fully retired with over 29 years of service to his country and nearly 16 years as a public-school teacher, Davis spends his time watching the St. Louis Cardinals, fly fishing, playing golf, relishing his retirement “with a few cold bottles of Budweiser Beer”, and keeping active with his lifelong practice of Karate. Recently Davis purchased a telescoping flag pole from Liberty Flagpole Company to create a beautiful patriotic display in his front yard to honor the men and women who have given their life to serve and protect a country that he loves passionately.
To learn more about Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Jefferson Davis visit his LinkedIn profile.