Medal Of Honor Recipient Sammy Davis Named Indiana Sachem Award Winner

Posted On February 14, 2018

By Mike Perleberg

U.S. Army Retired Sgt. 1st Class Sammy Davis, of Freedom, Indiana, will receive the 2018 Sachem Award from Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. Public domain photo.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Vietnam veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L. Davis is receiving Indiana’s highest honor: the Sachem Award.

The Sachem Award is given annually to recognize a person’s excellence and moral virtue which has brought credit and honor to Indiana. Previous recipients include Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor in 2017, former University of Notre Dame President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh in 2006, and long-time businessman and civic leader P.E. MacAllister in 2014.

“Sammy’s story of service, courage and sacrifice for our nation and freedom is a true inspiration for all Americans,” Holcomb said. “In sharing his exceptional personal story, Sammy spreads an important and timeless message that grit and perseverance can help all of us overcome even the most challenging circumstances.”

Davis, a 71-year-old resident of, fittingly, Freedom, Indiana, received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 for his “extraordinary heroism at the risk of his life.”

Davis was in Vietnam in 1967 when his unit came under fire. Despite being wounded, he manned a burning machine gun and fired several rounds at the Vietcong, providing cover for his fellow soldiers. He sustained further injury, including a broken back, but used an air mattress to cross a river to rescue wounded comrades. He then joined another howitzer site to continue fighting the Vietcong until they fled.

He continued serving in the Army as a cook until his retirement in 1984.

In addition to his Medal of Honor, Davis has been awarded a Silver Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Davis is actively engaged in the Boy Scouts of America organization and entered scouting when he was nine. He is involved with many veteran and service organizations, church, the Masonic Lodge and is especially dedicated to speaking to America’s youth.

Davis and his wife, Dixie, have both authored books about their life experiences and the importance of endurance and courage.

He often recites his motto when speaking to young people, “You don’t lose ’til you quit trying.”