Region 8 Marine Returns Home from Iraq

March 29, 2005--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD-- A Paragould man returns home from Iraq with a new outlook on life.

"I was afraid everyday up to the day I left. I lost 27 friends on a helicopter right before I flew out of Iraq so I was terrified to fly. We were all terrified of everything," Sgt. Mark Davis says.

He might have been terrified, but he knew he had a job to do. For that reason, he stands safely on American soil today sharing his story.

He visited his alma mater speaking of pride for his country, friends lost and conversations with his family that came few and far between.

"Most of the phone calls that I received were during the school day because there is a nine hour difference. It would come over the intercom that I had a phone call, and I would just bolt to the office," Mark's mother Patricia Davis says.

She says she could care less where his phone calls came from as long as she knew he was alive, but with one phone call, she was shocked by the reality of war.

"She was like where are you? I was like downtown Fallujah on a rooftop hunkered down. Actually being there and hearing the bullets flying by your head. That wakes you up and says all right, no joke, you're actually here and you're actually doing this," Mark says.

Mark described his moments at war as surreal. The streets of Fallujah were filled with death and destruction. It was an experience that changed Mark forever and gave him a new reason for living.

"I enjoy life now. A lot of people didn't get to come home, and for that and everything else, I feel I owe it to them to do something with my life and do something good," Mark says.