Today, Congressman David McKinley joined Fairmont State University President Mirta Martin, Board of Governors Chairwoman Dixie Yann, and Director of Veteran Services Sandra Corwin, in dedicating the Major George P. Davis III Student Veterans Lounge. Major Davis and his family were also in attendance.
“I’ve known Major Davis for the past ten years and I just think the world of him,” said Mckinley who participated in the dedication via Skype. “He is one of the most highly decorated Vietnam veterans that I know of and I don’t think there is a more fitting tribute you can give than to name this student lounge after him.”
Major Davis explained that he feels his ministry in life is to work with veterans and to help provide them with a safe and welcoming place on every campus in West Virginia. “Our veterans deserve a place where they can relax and get together with other students like them,” said Davis. “Not every university in the area has a veteran’s lounge. I am proud of the support given by President Mirta Martin and the work of Director Sandra Corwin in making this lounge possible at Fairmont State University.”
Major Davis served more than twenty years in the U.S. Army. He has authored the book, “Spud 19—A Vietnam Aviator’s Battles with PTSD.” Raised in rural West Virginia, he rose through the ranks eventually becoming part of an elite group of Army aviators flying an OV-1 Mohawk for several years. The Mohawk’s mission was unarmed reconnaissance and surveillance of enemy movement, with most being flown over enemy territory. After several years, he lost the ability to be able to fly as his PTSD kept getting worse. It really hit home after he retired and it has been a full-blown battle ever since, even up until today. His internal battles changed his life and only recently has he been able to begin to cope with them.
McKinley closed the ceremony with heartfelt appreciation for Major Davis. “The sacrifice and commitment you make for veterans should serve as an inspiration for us all.”