Kayenta man dies in Afghanistan

By Cindy Yurth
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, Feb. 26, 2013

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F lags fly at half-staff here where Jonathan Davis grew up playing basketball for Monument Valley High School.

Flags were lowered to half-staff on Tuesday morning to commemorate Camp Pendleton Marine Staff Sgt. Jonathan D. Davis, 34, a Diné who is described as "humble and simple."

Davis was killed Feb. 22 in Afghanistan where he was a motor transport operations chief assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 32nd Georgian Liaison Team, Regimental Combat Team 7, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in California.

According to the Department of Defense, Davis died while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, one of the largest and best-defended posts in Afghanistan.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly announced the loss of a warrior Monday.

As stated by a press release issued Monday, Shelly said, "The Navajo Nation mourns the loss of a warrior who gave his life defending freedom. We are saddened by the loss of our warrior and we offer our prayers to the family during this difficult time. (Davis) was a valued member of the Kayenta community and often remembered for helping to bring home two state high school basketball championships (in the late '90s). His presence will be missed."

A small collage of Davis' photos was displayed in his family's home Tuesday where relatives gathered to remember their Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ordered that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset Tuesday.

Davis is the 13th Navajo killed in action in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As specified by the Camp Pendleton Patch, Davis enlisted in the Marines on October 21, 1997.

His awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal.

A member of the family said 500 people are expected to attend the funeral, which is still unconfirmed.