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News | Dec. 22, 2022

These are our people

By Staff Sgt. Courtney Rorick

Staff Sgt. Dante Davis was driving home to Boston on Interstate 93 in Manchester on the evening of December 15, when he came upon an accident scene.

A maroon SUV had overturned and rested against the guardrail. He immediately pulled over, exited his vehicle and rushed over.

“I couldn’t see inside the cabin,” said Davis, a New Hampshire National Guardsman with 54th Troop Command. “As I got closer, I could hear a woman yelling for help.”

He forced open a door and extricated the driver. After moving her to safety, he rendered first aid for a head injury and stayed until police and fire personnel arrived.

Though Davis downplayed the significance of his actions, an official written report indicated otherwise.

“At risk to his safety, in the dark and the rain, he made his way across three lanes of active traffic to check on those involved," wrote Lt. Michael Meehan of Manchester Fire Department.

When soldiers of Davis's unit were asked if they were surprised by his heroics, the answer was a resounding “no.”

“His actions do not surprise me,” said Maj. Richard Brown, operations officer with 54th. “This is consistent with how conducts himself daily.”

“Davis’s heart is always in the right place,” he added. “He is one of the most morally, ethically sound NCOs I’ve had the pleasure of working with. His love for the community and our guardsmen knows no limit.”

Davis’s other team members describe him as one of the most humble, hardworking, caring, and driven humans they have ever met.

“What most people don’t know is he’s also a combat veteran,” said Capt. Robert Matzelle, training officer with 54th. “When you first walk up to him, he’s very quiet and calm. When you get to know him, you’re like ‘wow, this guy has been around the block.’”

Matzelle said the presence he brings to his job as an operations noncommissioned officer is refreshing.

“Davis is exactly the kind of soldier anyone wants to work with and be around,” he said. “I’m proud of him.”

Davis's assessment of the incident was simple: it was his basic duty to assist.

“This is a human, and no one was doing anything. No one was stopping to help,” Davis said. “Imagine what it would feel like to be trapped in a car having just been in an accident. We’d all be afraid.”

Coincidentally, he graduated the next day with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Simmons University in Boston. And moving forward, Davis is working toward earning his license to work in a hospital emergency department next summer.

“I think the world could use a little bit more humanity,” Davis said. “As a New Hampshire Guardsmen, these are our people. This is our community. These are the people we swore an oath to look after and protect.”