Hundreds honor, welcome home Kayenta soldier

By Krista Allen
Special to the Times

TUBA CITY, March 1, 2013

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T he body of Camp Pendleton Marine Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. Davis arrived here this morning after an 82-mile procession from Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.

Davis was killed in action Feb. 22 in Afghanistan where he was a motor transport operations chief, serving as a liaison to the Georgian military as part of the Marine Corps' Regimental Combat Team 7.

Emergency vehicles and the Navajo-Hopi Honor Riders escorted his body to Desert Memorial Mortuary where his family gathered to welcome their warrior home.

Red, white, and blue streamers fluttered through the air as members of the community gathered in the corner of Main Street and Edgewater Drive. Students from Tuba City Boarding School lined the street and showed their support by waving the American flag.

According to the Department of Defense, Davis' death is the first U.S. fatality since Jan. 20.

Because Afghan forces have taken a greater role in providing security across the country, U.S. combat deaths have significantly decreased in recent weeks.

Davis is the third American killed in Afghanistan this year. Army soldiers David J. Chambers from Hampton, Va. and Mark H. Schoonhoven from Plainwell, Mich. were killed in January.

Davis is the 13th Diné killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honored Davis last Wednesday in Sacramento where they to extended their deepest condolences to the Davis family.

Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the state capitol.

Emergency vehicles and the honor riders will escort Davis' body tomorrow from the mortuary at 7:30 a.m. to the Kayenta Cemetery in Kayenta, Ariz. where there will be a graveside service at 10 a.m.

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