Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Guardsman in Lawrence company killed in Iraq

February 22, 2006


A Lawrence-based member of the Kansas National Guard was killed in a bomb attack in Iraq on Monday, officials said Tuesday.

Spc. Jessie Davila, 29, of Greensburg, was a member of Company A in the 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry. It was not immediately clear if other members of the unit were injured in the bombing.

The 120-member Company A is based in Lawrence.

State Rep. Dennis McKinney, D-Greensburg, said Davila had entered the Marines upon graduating from Greensburg High School, then returned after his Marine enlistment to Greensburg and joined the Guard.

Davila was a "good kid" with "good manners," McKinney said. Other Greensburg residents said Davila attended St. Joseph Catholic Church; church members were unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Funeral services were pending.

"A community like Greensburg, you know all the kids," McKinney said. "It hits home - you understand the cost of the war."

The 500-member battalion, with headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., and another company based in Wichita, deployed to Iraq in August. The unit was given the mission of operating the Joint Visitors Bureau near Baghdad and providing security for high-level visitors entering Iraq.

State Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie, recently returned from a year-long deployment in Iraq commanding the Guard's 891st Engineering Battalion.

"It hits really close to home," Tafanelli said. "That's a tough thing for a unit to endure, is the loss of one of their soldiers. But they're a great group of soldiers, and they'll get the mission done."

State officials on Tuesday praised Davila for his sacrifice.

"Spc. Davila has made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country and he will be remembered as a hero," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said in a prepared statement.

"The Kansas National Guard is truly one big family and anytime one of our own is taken from us, we all grieve," said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state adjutant general. "Our hearts and prayers go out to Jessie's family and we will do everything in our power to support them in this time of loss."

Davila is the 25th Kansan to die in Iraq and the fourth member of the Kansas National Guard.

Davila's death is the first Kansas National Guard death in Iraq since May 2005, when Spc. Derrick J. Lutters, of Goodland, was killed while serving with the 891st Engineer Battalion.

Sgt. 1st Class Clinton L. Wisdom, of Atchison, and Sgt. Don Clary, of Troy, died in November 2004 while also providing security for the Joint Visitor's Bureau. The two were killed when their vehicle was struck by a suicide bomber while escorting a diplomatic convoy.

From the Lawrence area, two soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Army Spc. Lucas Frantz, 22, of Tonganoxie, died Oct. 18; Lance Cpl. Christopher B. Wasser, 21, died April 8, 2004.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


The_Voice_of_Reason 12 years, 2 months ago

Rest in Peace my fellow Kansan... And I wish the KS legislater would hurry up that law that makes protesting funrals illegal...

KayCee 12 years, 2 months ago

There is a third soldier from the Lawrence area, and the first from Kansas to be killed-- Sgt. Butler from Wellsville. Not mentioned, Lance Cpl. Wasser is from Ottawa.

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

"...and they'll get the mission done."

What is the mission? Start another democracy? Is another foreign entanglement worth the life of this man?


"Spc. Davila has made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country and he will be remembered as a hero," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said in a prepared statement.

Our governor is not correct. This soldier was serving our government, not our country. If he was serving our country, he would be on the boarder keeping illegal foreign invaders out of our country. Many people in Kansas would not have this war drag on and would not have justified this war to restructure a government into a democracy. We should bring our guys home now and remove ourselves from these "foreign entanglements" as George Washington warned us to not let our government get into.

The cost of this government war/foreign entanglement is too high and is for the wrong reasons. Bring our military home now and stop the foreign entanglements.

Support our troops by bringing them home and out of unnecessary danger.

Our hearts go out to the parents of this soldier. May God bless them and comfort them in great loss of their son.

blahblah 12 years, 2 months ago

PLEASE remember that our deployed soldiers do read the articles online in order to keep track of things going on at home, imagine how much it hurts them to see unneeded political comments at the bottom of a story about one of their fallen brothers. Have some respect for our soldiers, and for their families.

My prayers are with this soldiers family, and with all his military brothers. We DO appreciate your sacrifice!

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

Trying to suppress someone from speaking out the truth by saying it is disrespectful to our soldiers because the subject is of a political nature is the ultimate in disrespect to our soldiers.

strateup 12 years, 2 months ago

Liberty you sound like a Fred Phelps supporter. Whether our involvement in Iraq is right or wrong this young man was willing to put his life on the line. For that he has my deepest respect and admiration. Liberty, tonight I hope you enjoy your freedom that was given to you by those men who didn't question every decision made by our government. I would be willing to bet that you would probably find every excuse not to fight for your country if you were asked to. Remember this man voluntered, Lance Cpl. Wasser I solute you>

us_army_infantry_soldier 12 years, 2 months ago

The men from my unit do read these articles. At least we know that we are fighting here for everyone, even those who make comments like Liberty. Speaking of Liberty what are you doing to protect "Liberty"? We are over here in Iraq to do a job and everyone here still believes in what we are doing even at the cost of our own lives. SPC Davila was the first from our Unit to give the ultimate sacrifice and he may not be the last but we all know the costs of protecting our country and those who wish to have the freedoms of which we hold so dear. So remember, Liberty, when you go to sleep tonight in your bed with your family all tucked in that there are those of us that are willing to lay down our freedoms to protect yours.

To the family of SPC Jessie Davila my heart goes out to you and I will pray for your loss. Jessie was a great soldier and a great person. We will forever miss him.
God bless..


us_army_infantry_soldier A. Co. 2-137th IN Iraq

spikey_mcmarbles 12 years, 2 months ago


Keep up the good work!

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

Dear US army infantry soldier,

Perhaps you could give us all a report of what you wonderful guys are accomplishing in Iraq? I also thank you for your willingness to lay down your life and to serve this country (meaning the people of this country) protecting us from those that would cause us harm abroad or (domestically in our own govenment). I deeply respect that dedication that you apparently have.

We would like to know the real events and progress and what the goal is in Iraq so we can say that our country is done there and bring you guys back home to your home in peace.

To answer your question, Some of us, (not enough) are awake and doing a great deal to protect 'Liberty' over here while you are over there. We are keeping a very watchful eye on Congress so that no more of our freedoms and yours are taken due to the 9-11 event and all the legislation that has ensued like the Patriot Act, and the Patriot act extension which is unconstitutional and continual gun control/confiscation legislation efforts in Congress. (We want you to live in a free country when you come back too).

We do mourn the loss of any soldier or person and do not wish anything to happen to you either. We all want you guys back home as soon as possible and in good health, back with your families.

We do not want to see the start of World War III by this government policy of perpetual war. One country to the next.

We do not hear reports of what the goal is in Iraq and how you would exit Iraq to bring all of you guys home and leave Iraq. Perhaps you could shed some light on this? We would like to put a stop to the foreign entanglements as much as possible as they have gotten way out of control (we have a military presence in too many foreign countries today).

Thank you for your willingness to lay down your life for the people of this country, protecting our God given rights listed in the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights. Do you guys have pocket Constitutions over there? At least parts of it can be found on a google search on the internet. Information on problem legislation can be found at Gun owners of America and downsize DC.

strateup 12 years, 2 months ago

Liberty your slighted jabs at our U.S. servicemen are both disrespectful and unappreciated. These young men are fighting for a cause that the silent majority of us true Americans understand and respect. Liberty where were you on 9/11? I am proud to know that there are young Americans that are willing to go fight terrorists. By your attitude it is obvious that you would rather be reactive instead of proactive. I feel that I speak for most Americans in stating that I would rather see our trained military go after terrorist than to wait for another 9/11. Shame on you for using the username Liberty. May I suggest you change your name to something more towards your left wing attitude. Once again to all you soldiers fighting overseas, the majority of Americans applaude you and salute you. Keep up the good work and God be with you until your home again.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

You know, one who proselytizes against the government over the death of a fallen soldier is no better than one who uses that soldier's death to glorify a political agenda.

Liberty, do you get a salary to be an ass, or is it a freelance gig?

blahblah 12 years, 2 months ago


I hope you understand how much most of us appreciate the sacrifices you are making. My brother is there with you and my family prays for each and every one of you every single day. Take care of one another, be safe, and know that we love you all! Counting the days till you are home! Thank You!

brent556 12 years ago

2/130th FA props to the 11B's running the JVB, towers, and such. Hope All are doing well and things running smoothly. Believe it or not you'll miss the real estate, DCSouth, running around lost lake, BIAP, etc. when you ReFrad. Patriot Riders showed up in FORCE for Spc. Davila's service. Wasn't much of the westborough church protesters in attendance, Patriot Riders' flags prevented Phelps crew from being seen by the family. Regards from the OIF II crew and see you safe and home ASAP. Charlie Mike! v/r, former 2/137th grunt. Ft. Livingroom, KS

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