Saturday, March 24, 2007

William N. Davis dies of injuries from I.E.D.

Edgar "Bill" Davis went to Fort Bliss, Texas, in October to spend time with his son, William "Billy" Davis, before he was deployed to Iraq in November.

When leaving the base, Edgar Davis said he didn't know what to say to his son.

"You just tell him you love him and you will see him when he gets home," Edgar Davis said.

A week ago, he learned that his son was killed when a roadside bomb exploded under the Humvee he was driving.

The younger Davis, a private first class in the Army, will be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery today following a 2 p.m. service at St. Anthony of Padua church, 2510 Richmond in Grand Rapids.

Davis grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from high school there, but spent time with his father and stepmother in their Montague home. His father is postmaster in Hesperia.

Davis leaves behind a wife, Renae, and a 3-year-old daughter, Aeris, as well as his parents, Edgar and June Davis, two sisters, two stepsisters and one stepbrother. June Davis lives in Grand Rapids.

The fallen soldier was due back home in less than a month to witness the birth of his son, who he and his wife already decided to name Kaden Andrew.

It was the level of commitment to his family that Davis' father and stepmother remember most about the 26-year-old.

"He was a good father and a good husband," Edgar Davis said. "Those were two things that were important to him."

Edgar Davis said his son was "struggling on the outside" and joined the Army as a way to provide for his family.

After graduating from Union High School in Grand Rapids, Davis worked at Meijer and in landscaping jobs, his father said.

"He was very proud to be in the service," said Rosiland Davis, Davis' stepmother. "He was very proud of his uniform."

Davis' family has roots in the military. His father served in Vietnam and his grandfather in World War II. Edgar Davis said his son's family history also had an impact on his decision to enlist.

"If I knew this was going to happen, I wouldn't have encouraged him to go," Edgar Davis said. "But there is nothing that you can predict."

Edgar Davis said his son spent a lot of time on Fox Lake driving his bass boat while they fished.

"We did a lot of fishing on the bass boat," he said. "He liked to drive the boat around when I was fishing."

Edgar Davis said he did not know where his son was in Iraq or exactly what he was doing when he was killed.

"He never really talked about what he was doing," he said. "He didn't sound like he was afraid."

From WOOD 8