Air Force strong

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
The past year has been full of emotional highs and lows for Maj. Adam Davis and his wife, Adrianne, after enduring and surviving, as he points out, two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.

Among the highs for them has been the emotional support they have received over the past year from the Air Force - not only here at Hanscom, but throughout the Air Force.

"I'd say while there have many been ups and downs over the past year, there have certainly been more ups than downs, all things considered," said Davis, who serves as the executive officer to Maj. Gen. Craig S. Olson, the Air Force program executive officer for C3I and Networks.. "The Hanscom support I have received from the moment I woke up from surgery has been outstanding; I couldn't have asked for more support than I received."

Davis, who was on leave after returning from a five-month deployment from Afghanistan only two weeks earlier, and his wife were in Boston to watch the Patriot's Day tradition when they were seriously injured in the bombings.

"My wife lost a portion of her leg and I cut a nerve and artery in my foot from shrapnel," he said.

Davis said that what happened in the days and weeks after helped them through the difficult days that followed.

"Leadership was there right away; literally when I woke up from surgery I had people there helping me out - at that point I wasn't working for General Olson, but he was there the next day to show his support for me and my family."

In fact, Davis said, it was Olson and his first sergeant who picked his mom up at the airport. Additionally, other coworkers were busy ferrying Adam and Adrianne's family members back and forth from the hotel to the hospital to spend time with the Davises during their recovery.

"Adrianne and I received so much incredible support from so many incredible people, and continue to receive an outpouring of support," he said.

Among the letters and emails he received were visits from some of the Air Force's most senior leaders.

"Lieutenant General Moore came to visit us in the hospital, which was great, and I even received a visit from then- Air Force Secretary Donley, which was awesome," said Davis. "Both of them wanted us to know that the entire Air Force family was behind us."

That message from the Air Force's senior leaders really resonated with him.

He also received a letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin E. Dempsey providing words of encouragement and support.

He points out that, in addition to the Air Force community, the local community was amazing.

"They were absolutely fantastic," Davis said. "We have since dug very deep roots here as a result of this experience and we definitely feel like Boston, the greater New England area, is now home. We plan to retire here when I finish my career."

Given the nature and significance of their injuries, Davis said that he feels fortunate to have been given the time necessary to recover.

"They let me come back on my own schedule," he said. "They understand when I have to take time off; however, they also understand that sometimes I just need to be at work."

As the anniversary approaches, the family admits they have felt both excitement and angst.

"Adrianne is excited about celebrating the one year of survival, of not being a victim," said Davis. "She has a lot of family coming in for the marathon. I have friends running in my honor, and her brothers are running in her honor."

Running the marathon is something each would one day like to do themselves.

"We are not able to run the marathon this year," he said. "I think Adrianne will admit that she was a little overeager in saying she wanted to run the marathon this year, which I think people can understand. I do think we will try to run the marathon at some point in the future though."

The couple is participating in a one-mile walk to the finish line in Boston over the weekend before the marathon April 21.

This year, however, for Davis and his wife, watching the marathon will be more about rooting on those people who will be running for personal reasons.

"Watching this year will be more about supporting those who are running the marathon, including our friends and family that were affected," said Davis. "It was not just us that were affected that day."

Davis added that the marathon is such an institution in Boston that the bombings affected many people throughout the city.

He reflects on the words of encouragement he has received from past and present coworkers.

"There is one note of encouragement that I received that still sits on my desk - a member from an old program office, while he was deployed, when he needs to be thinking about his own safety, took the time out of his busy deployment to send a message to let me know he was thinking about us," Davis said.

Those goodwill messages to get well have been overwhelming for Davis. He said the support they have received has been amazing.

He reflects on a quote that Adrianne has developed over the past year to get through the darker moments: "I am not a victim; I am a survivor. A victim is defined by what is done to them; a survivor is defined by what you do after the event."

Davis hopes to apply that to the next stage of his career.

"I hope to continue to do great things for the Air Force with all the energy from the past year behind us pushing us forward," said Davis. "The Air Force is such a great family. It is truly amazing."