Eleven brothers from one single family have cumulatively served 158 years in the U.S. military.
Seven of the 11 brothers, ranging from 67 to 89 years old, reunited at a hotel-casino in Tunica, Miss. for their annual reunion where they exchanged stories of their lives and military service, while enjoying some gambling and buffet dining and celebrating three of their birthdays, the Associated Press reported.
The brothers were born in Alabama to Ben and Hattie Davis, who had 16 children in all. In addition to the 11 brothers, there were three girls and two more boys who never joined the military.
The family lived in a rural area on a 60-acre cotton farm in Wetumpka, with hard-working parents who instilled discipline and love.
The youngest of the brothers, Arguster Davis, 67 said, “Their moral and ethical values were pristine.”
During that time, it was customary for boys to enter the military after graduation, and so they did just that.
The first brother to enlist was Ben Davis Jr., who joined the Navy in 1944, during the midst of WWII.
Arguster Davis served four years in the Air Force, and then the Air Force Reserve until 1998.
Lebronze Davis, who is 70 and known as the straightforward one, joined the Army and served during the Vietnam War.
“Being in the military, it was a fine thing. We all think we’ve done an outstanding job,” he said.
Octavious Davis is now 80 years old and is known as the comedian of the family. “We just like to get together and talk trash and just have a good time. All of us are close,” he said.
Frederick Davis, 68, is the somber one and Julius Davis, 73, is the practical one who served in the Army in Vietnam. Eddie Davis is 89 and also served during the Vietnam conflict and known as the spiritual brother. Nathaniel Davis, 75, is an Army veteran and is considered to be the “no-nonsense” brother.
Brother Washington Davis who served six years in the Army has since passed away. Three brothers, Ben, Alphonza, and Calvin Davis, who all served in the military, were unable to make it to the reunion.
The National Infantry Museum Foundation honored the Davis brothers in 2017 by engraving each of their names in paving stones at the museum.
The foundation’s president, Pete Jones said, “What these brothers did out of love for both family and country is nothing short of remarkable. Their sense of duty is unrivaled and is the kind of spirit that makes our nation’s armed forces the greatest in the world.”