Haleigh the "vegetable" can now write her name, brush her own hair and feed herself. Haleigh's suffering and sacrifice carry powerful reminders against blind trust in the deadly duo of Big Nanny and Big Medicine -- reminders that money can't buy.
The life of Master Sgt. Anthony Davis gives us one more invaluable gift this year. On Thanksgiving weekend, his family learned that he had been killed while delivering humanitarian supplies in Biaj, Iraq. He had served in the army for 26 years. He loved his job and believed in his mission. The Baltimore native was married, and had five children and one grandchild. His wife and daughter also served in the military.
Sergeant Davis was killed while distributing water and food in Biaj, about 250 miles north of Baghdad. He died, his family said, doing what he loved. "He was Army in every sense of the word," Jorge Tardi, Sergeant Davis' brother-in-law, told the Baltimore Sun. "He believed in our effort over there in Iraq. It wasn't just a job. It wasn't just a benefit. It wasn't just hardship pay. He was a patriot."
Sergeant Davis was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, but what his family will remember most is commitment to them. He was a peacemaker, they said, and a mentor to all. "'A positive impact on somebody's life can change their life for the better,' That's a quote from him," his son Jerel said at his funeral. He "instilled in his children the importance of getting to know God."
Sergeant Davis's service sacrifice serves as a powerful reminder never to take for granted the cherished gifts of family, faith and freedom -- reminders that money can't buy.