Disneyland Honors 'Real' Forrest Gump, MoH Recipient Sammy Lee Davis
Orange County Register
by Keith Sharon
Nov 06, 2015
He rescued three fellow soldiers and earned the Medal of Honor for his heroic effort in Vietnam.
He played football in high school, worked on a fishing boat and once gave a speech on the mall in Washington, D.C., about the importance of bringing home prisoners of war. He'll call you "sir" or "ma'am" and tell you about Freedom, Indiana, where the only traffic signal is a flashing yellow light. He doesn't live in Freedom (Population: 400), but about five miles outside town.
"It's way too congested," he said.
His name is not Forrest Gump, although he is truly Gumpian. Footage of him receiving his Medal of Honor from President Lyndon Johnson was used in the 1994 movie that won Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Hanks. If you search on the Internet for the "real Forrest Gump," you will see his name.
"My name is Sammy Lee Davis," he said. "Not Samuel or Sam. It says Sammy on my birth certificate. They didn't use my name, but that movie is based on me."
Davis was honored Thursday during Disneyland's daily flag retreat when the sun went down. The Disneyland band played. The Dapper Dans sang. And Davis was joined by other veterans, who stood and saluted as the flags were folded.
"Pride is the utmost emotion I'm feeling right now," Davis said at the conclusion of the ceremony. He was accompanied by his wife, Dixie, and his granddaughters Katelynn Smith and Sami Johnson.
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If you don't know who Sammy Davis is, this will fill you in on just how amazing he is.
A few years ago Sammy was at a fundraiser and agreed to sit down for a while with Dixie. Listen to what happened when Sammy came home as the MOH Citation was read.
Then keep all that in mind when you hear the advice he has for PTSD.