U.S. bombing victims identified

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Three Green Berets killed in an accident Wednesday in Afghanistan were proud leaders who loved the Army, family members and friends remembered.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory, 32, who grew up in western Massachusetts, "always wanted to be an Army man," said his brother, Michael. "He was born to do it."

The communications specialist, who had also served in the Gulf War, proudly wore his Green Beret uniform when he made trips home to Cheshire, a town of 3,600 in the Berkshire Mountains near the Vermont border.

He was single and had no children, his brother said.

"He died doing a job he loved, for the country he loved," said his sister Nicole, 20.

Petithory, Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser and Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis died after a U.S. bomb missed its Taliban target north of Kandahar. All were members of the Army's 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Twenty other U.S. soldiers were wounded in the accident. Five Afghan fighters also were killed and an undetermined number were wounded.

Prosser, 28, one of four brothers, lived in Frazier Park, a mountain town about 50 miles outside Los Angeles. He was a natural leader and top athlete who had been captain of the Maricopa High School football team, his brother said.

"He was a leader, a warrior and proud to be a soldier," said his 22-year-old brother, Jarudd. "He's my role model."

Jarudd Prosser said the family knew the risk his brother, who was married, was taking in Afghanistan, adding that when he heard he was about to leave he made sure he "left nothing unsaid."

"In a war, people die. It puts a lot of things in perspective," Jarudd Prosser said. "It really makes me think when you care about someone, you have to tell them that."

Davis, 39, made a career in the military. He had a wife and two children, who live in Clarksville, Tenn., just outside Fort Campbell. His parents live in Watauga.

At the Davis home, less than two miles from the Army installation, dozens of people dropped by to pay their condolences -- including members of the family's church who arrived in a van. They declined to speak to reporters.

His family was proud of his service, cousin Penny McCracken told the Johnson City (Tenn.) Press.

"He was always a good guy," she said.

Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said Davis died serving his country and as a hero.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the Davis family and friends during this difficult time," Frist said in a statement. "I hope his family will find comfort in knowing that Donny died a hero and that his death is grieved by all Americans. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy and that is something that wont be forgotten by our nation."

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