From the VETERANS series:
Dorcedious E. Davis
U.S. Army, Gulf War, Medic
97th General Hospital
Dates of Service: 1987-2003
You always feel as if someone is coming up from behind you.
-August, 2013 in Harlem, New York City
“I was born in Queens and raised in the Bronx. From childhood, after being in the cadets, I always had the desire to serve my country. So after working for the United States Postal Service in Harlem, I decided to leave the job and pursue my dream, so I enlisted in the United States Army Reserves on an eight-year contract in 1987.
“I was trained to become a Combat Medical Support Specialist. My first duty station was Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, and then Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas. They deployed me to the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. I served in support of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield.
“I received training as a Combat Medical Support Specialist and was assigned to a unit in Mesquite, Texas. I was then deployed to the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, and then to Iraq, where I served in support of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield.
“I was standing guard at a base camp hospital in Iraq and a female, an attempted suicide bomber with explosives tied to her body, said she was coming to visit relatives, so I let her through. Thankfully another guard caught her in time. I remember thinking that the staff would have been killed and injured because of my error.
“When I came back to New York, I saw how much trouble veterans had in getting benefits and health care. I became an advocate for veterans, particularly female veterans, and I am Vice President of the Veteran Action Group, Inc., which provides community-building initiatives and educational seminars to veterans.