Sammy L. Davis was born in Dayton, Ohio and was raised in French Camp, California. His family has a long tradition of military service; his grandfather served in the Spanish-American War, his father Robert Davis was in World War II, and his brothers Hubert ("Buddy") and Darrell Davis served in Korea and Germany.
On November 18, 1967, Sammy 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 Viet Cong. Upon detecting an enemy position, Sammy manned a machine gun to give his comrades covering fire. Although he was severely wounded, Sammy ignored warnings to take cover and manned his unit's howitzer artillery gun, and fired several shells on his own. With wounds that prevented him from being able to swim, Sammy crossed a river on an air mattress to help rescue three wounded American soldiers. He ultimately found his way to another howitzer artillery gun and continued fighting the Viet Cong attack until they fled. Sammy was subsequently promoted to sergeant and received the Medal of Honor the following year, in 1968.
“A true American hero, Gary Sinise selflessly spearheads a Foundation dedicated to caring for others. All financial resources raised go directly to serve veterans, first responders and families who are in need. I am proud to serve as a Gary Sinise Foundation Ambassador.”
— Sammy L. Davis