The Tennessee Veterans Business Association invites the Knoxville Business Community to a fundraising dinner featuring Keynote Speaker Samuel L. Davis, Medal of Honor recipient, and US Army Veteran. This is a ticketed event and registration is required.
Individual – $75
Table of 10 – $600 – Tables of 10 will receive table signage and complimentary bottle of wine.
Additional Tickets for Expo Exhibitors – $40
Please fill out and submit form before proceeding to payment process below
Pay with a Check!
Please make checks payable to Tennessee Veterans Business Association.
P.O. Box 12827, Knoxville, TN 37912
Click Here to Pay online with Paypal
Sammy Lee Davis (born November 1, 1946)
Is a retired United States Army soldier and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his conduct in the Vietnam War.
Davis joined the Army from Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1965. By November 18, 1967, he was serving as a private first class with Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Artillery Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, in the Republic of Vietnam.
On that day, his unit was west of Cai Lay when they fell under heavy mortar attack by the North Vietnamese Army as around 1,500 NVA swarmed the area. (Referred to as Vietcong but actually was the NVA according to an interview with Davis) Upon detecting an enemy position, Davis manned a machine gun to give his comrades covering fire so they could fire artillery in response. Davis was wounded, but ignored warnings to take cover, taking over the unit’s burning howitzer and firing several shells himself. He also disregarded his inability to swim (due to injuries; Davis knew how to swim), crossing a river on an air mattress to help rescue three wounded American soldiers. He ultimately found his way to another howitzer site to continue fighting the NVA attack until they fled. He was subsequently promoted to sergeant and received the Medal of Honor the following year.
Davis was forced to retire in 1984 due to his injuries. Footage of his Medal of Honor award ceremony was used in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, with actor Tom Hanks’ head superimposed over that of Davis.
Medal of Honor Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Davis (then Pfc.) distinguished himself during the early morning hours while serving as a cannoneer with Battery C, at a remote fire support base. At approximately 0200 hours, the fire support base was under heavy enemy mortar attack. Simultaneously, an estimated reinforced Viet Cong battalion launched a fierce ground assault upon the fire support base. The attacking enemy drove to within 25 meters of the friendly positions. Only a river separated the Viet Cong from the fire support base. Detecting a nearby enemy position, Sgt. Davis seized a machine gun and provided covering fire for his guncrew, as they attempted to bring direct artillery fire on the enemy. Despite his efforts, an enemy recoilless rifle round scored a direct hit upon the artillery piece. The resultant blast hurled the guncrew from their weapon and blew Sgt. Davis into a foxhole. He struggled to his feet and returned to the howitzer, which was burning furiously. Ignoring repeated warnings to seek cover, Sgt. Davis rammed a shell into the gun. Disregarding a withering hail of enemy fire directed against his position, he aimed and fired the howitzer which rolled backward, knocking Sgt. Davis violently to the ground. Undaunted, he returned to the weapon to fire again when an enemy mortar round exploded within 20 meters of his position, injuring him painfully. Nevertheless, Sgt. Davis loaded the artillery piece, aimed and fired. Again he was knocked down by the recoil. In complete disregard for his safety, Sgt. Davis loaded and fired 3 more shells into the enemy. Disregarding his extensive injuries and his inability to swim, Sgt. Davis picked up an air mattress and struck out across the deep river to rescue 3 wounded comrades on the far side. Upon reaching the 3 wounded men, he stood upright and fired into the dense vegetation to prevent the Viet Cong from advancing. While the most seriously wounded soldier was helped across the river, Sgt. Davis protected the 2 remaining casualties until he could pull them across the river to the fire support base. Though suffering from painful wounds, he refused medical attention, joining another howitzer crew which fired at the large Viet Cong force until it broke contact and fled. Sgt. Davis’ extraordinary heroism, at the risk of his life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.