The Mother’s Day Project

War is Personal

Carletta S. Davis

The following report about on the death of Carletta S. Davis, 34, was taken from the Fairbanks Daily News .  Staff Sgt. Davis was killed November 5th when an IED exploded near her humvee in Iraq.

Lavada Napier came to Alaska in 1979 because the wages were much higher than in Louisiana at the time. She left her four children with their grandmother, but after nine months of working, she saved up enough money to move them up here, including her oldest, Carletta.

Napier, who lives in Fairbanks, recounted that Davis was the best-behaved of her children while growing up. An elementary school principal once called her to tell her that two of her younger children had been acting up, and was shocked to learn they were related to her older daughter because Davis was such a model student.

“She didn’t give anyone any trouble,” Napier said. “She was the type of person who always tried to do the right thing.”

Davis enlisted in the Army in 1994, a move that surprised her family.

“I was more afraid for her than herself,” Napier said. “She was scared of spiders and roaches and I said, ‘I hope you know what you’re doing because you’re going to be sleeping outside on the ground.’”

Davis was a health care specialist assigned to the 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. She was previously deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996 and 1997. This was her third tour in Iraq, having served there from April 2003 until March 2004 and from December 2004 until November 2005.

Napier said Davis was worried about returning to Iraq and made sure to spend more time with her family, including her husband and three sons before her most recent deployment.

“I think she was concerned particularly for her children,” Napier said. “She knew the danger of going back a third time.”

She often visited her mother in Fairbanks and was debating between moving there or to Wasilla eventually.

“She came here and said, ‘I don’t know if I can put up with the cold, but you all can, so I should be able to put up with it,’ but she didn’t get that opportunity,” Napier said.

Davis is survived by her mother, husband and three sons, Trey, Theodore and Tyrique.


Tracy Lynn Alger

Alger, 30, died Nov. 1 in Shubayshen, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near her vehicle.  She was a native of New Auburn, Wisconsin.

After signing up for the National Guard, she was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), out of Fort Campbell, Ky.

Alger grew up in New Auburn, attended Chetek High School and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she studied graphic design.

At River Falls she was also on the rodeo team and served as president of the Wisconsin Girls Barrel Racing Association.

Anamarie Sannicolas Camacho & Genesia Mattril Gresham

The deaths of two female Navy seamen were announced by the Department of Defense on October 24th.  Seaman Anamarie Sannicolas Camacho, 20, and Seaman Genesia Mattril Gresham, 19, were shot and killed October 22 in the barracks of the American military base in Bahrain. The alleged shooter, a male US Navy sailor, is still in critical condition, suffering from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sarah Holmes

Lance Corporal Sarah Holmes, a member of the British Army since the age of 16, died tragically in a vehicle accident just days before the end of her tour of duty.  She was serving in Qatar at the time of the accident, and died surrounded by her family at a hospital in the U.K.  She was 26 years old.

Staff Sgt. Lillian Clamens

A 35 year old wife and mother of three, Army Staff Sergeant Lillian Clamens was one of two people who died October 10th, according to the Department of Defense.

Insurgents fired rockets on Camp Victory in Baghdad from a nearby abandoned school killing Clamens and Army Spc. Samuel F. Pearson, 28, Westerville, Ohio.

Clamens was assigned to the 1st Postal Platoon, 834th Adjutant General Company, Miami.

Family members say Lillian Clamens was due to return to Homestead, Fla., next week.

More information about Sgt. Clamens and the homecoming celebration being planned by her family can be found here.

Spc. Rachael L.Hugo

Spc. Rachael L. Hugo of Madison, Wisconsin died October 5th of wounds suffered in an attack by insurgents using an improvised explosive device and small arms in Bayji, Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Hugo was serving as a combat medic and planned to return to her nursing studies in Wisconsin at the end of her deployment. Her unit was expected to return to the U.S. within the next six weeks.

She was 24 years old.

Shayna Ann Schnell

The Department of Defense announced Oct. 5 the death of a Sailor who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Seaman Apprentice Shayna Ann Schnell, 19, of Tell City, Ind., died as a result of injuries suffered from a vehicle accident. Schnell was serving as a master-at-arms assigned to Naval Security Force Bahrain, Jebel Ali Detachment, United Arab Emirates.

Reportedly, she was a passenger in a rental car. No information is available about whether she was on duty at the time of the accident.

Shayna Ann Schnell is the 91st female casualty among the Coalition forces in Iraq.