‘Real-life’ Forrest Gump visits Knoxville

Local News

On Monday, Pilot Flying J welcomed the man known as the real-life Forrest Gump to Knoxville

Sammy Davis was awarded a medal of honor in 1967 for his military service in Vietnam. Footage of President Lyndon Johnson putting the medal around Davis’ neck was used in the film “Forrest Gump.” Davis’ face was replaced by that of Tom Hanks.

Monday, Davis had his real medal of honor with him — something not every recipient carries.

“The duplicate award that the FBI wanted us to wear, that’s the one that’s in the museum, and this is the real medal of honor,” Davis said. “There have been 2.7 million children hold this medal and it just makes it even more special.”

The question-and-answer session was moderated by Pilot Flying J founder Jim Haslam and was a follow-up to the Medal of Honor Convention held in Knoxville in 2014.

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