BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — WWII veteran Efner Davis of Arcade said he made the decision to fight for his country when he was 16 years-old. He was hunting foxes one day when the local chief of police approached him.
"He says good thing you're an excellent shot with that rifle," said Davis. "And I said who do you want me to shoot? And he said no no, I'm not kidding."
The chief proceeded to tell him the Japanese army had just attacked Pearl Harbor. Davis said in December, 1941 his attitude was to fight to protect his country.
"Country to me has been number one," he said.
When it comes to giving back to other veterans, he said he'll do anything he can.
An avid supporter of programs dedicated to veterans, he addressed some of them Saturday morning at UB's annual Dentistry Smiles on Veterans event that provides free dental care to vets. That's where he shared the story of how he earned the nickname "Lucky" while serving in the Pacific theater against Japan.
"I was carrying a pack loaded with grenades and rifle ammunition, and the sniper put a whole right through pack and never hit anything important," he said.
And since that day, he's been nicknamed Lucky.
He's given a donation to create the Efner "Lucky" Veteran's Lounge at UB, and he's pledged more than $400,000 to scholarships for returning combat veterans.
"When you are a veteran, you are doing your best for your country," said Davis.