Soldier shares story of surviving suicide bomb attack

Sgt. Devin Davis and wife Christie

Devin Davis, 26, of Chesterfield County, says his life has changed dramatically on June 20, 2012 when his military police company out of Timmonsville was attacked by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

"I really didn't think I was going to make it, " Davis said.

Davis is a Sergeant with the 133rd Military Police Company based in Timmonsville.

On June 20, Davis was conducting a checkpoint in Afghanistan looking for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), when he says an Afghan man walked up to his squad leader and started arguing.

"Guy got out of car and started shouting a little bit and hit the button," Davis said.

That button was connected to a bomb. Davis heard a loud explosion, saw a cloud of dust, then everything went blank.

Three of his fellow soldiers, First Lieutenant Ryan Rawl, 30, of Lexington, Spc. John Meador, II, 36, of Columbia and Sgt. First Class Matthew Thomas, 30, of Easley, were killed in the attack. Four others were seriously wounded.

That day is called the bloodiest day in Afghanistan for the SC National Guard which has deployed more than 12,000 troops there since the war started in 2001.

Davis continues to recover from his wounds at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

He initially went to a hospital in Germany for treatment, but arrived at Walter Reed two weeks following the attack.

His wife, Christie, remembers the day she got the phone call that her husband of just seven months had been critically wounded in a suicide bomb attack.

"I just had this feeling deep down in my gut that something was wrong," she said.

In addition to two broken legs, Davis suffered dozens of other injuries and he still has shrapnel in his body.

Davis took a leave of absence from her job as a registered nurse and sold their dream car to be by her husband's side at Walter Reed.

When she got to the hospital, Davis says, her husband was unconscious.

"When he woke up, he didn't know who I was. He didn't know where he was. He didn't know anything and that's the part like you try to forget. I mean, I hadn't seen my husband in months and he doesn't know who I am," Davis explained.

His memory came back overtime and things got better.

Davis has had 33 surgeries and may need another on his knee.

He's come a long way in his recovery, especially with his walking.

At one point, he was using a walker to help him get around, but now he's able to walk on his own even though it comes with a struggle.

Doctors at Walter Reed are helping him physically and emotionally. He says it's like an extended family there and everyone is pushing for the soldiers to make it and resume a life as normal as they can.

Davis has been in the SC National Guard for nearly seven years. He says he doesn't regret serving and is considering going back to the Guard when he's released from the hospital.

"I'd definitely do it again. No questions asked. Me and my wife have actually talked about it. She'll allow me to deploy again."

Davis has to go before a military medical board that will determine if and when he can return to the 133rd Military Police Company.

He plans to continue to work hard to make full recovery and he's looking forward to spending more time with his wife and family.