David was a collector of people.
Dave would reach out to the friend-less -- the kids that didn't quite fit in or have a "group" to call home. He would connect people and bring those on the fringes "into the fold." He always looked for ways to befriend people.
In high school, Dave was a standout athlete. He served as the captain of every team he played on. He won multiple Idaho state titles and not surprisingly earned the recognition of "Athlete of the Year." However, despite all the accolades and achievements, Dave was a humble man. He held himself to high standards and lived his life with integrity and excellence always looking out for others. Even as a football star, he would stay and help the JV rookie players learn how to put on their equipment. At track and field meets, he would collect all the shot puts and discuses at the end of the round for his teammates and yes, even his competitors. This is just who Dave was.
Of course being slightly shy of 6'5" and a white male in Afghanistan, Dave stuck out just a wee bit, well maybe A LOT! Needless to say, you could pick him out in a crowd. But despite his stature, the Afghans flocked to him. It wasn't rare to see Dave towering above a group of 20-30 natives all huddled around him, looking up, clearly mesmerized by the American "giant." Although his strength and stature garnered attention, I believe the people were more attracted to his compassion, genuine kindness and love. You see, Dave loved serving. He loved helping others even those in Afghanistan.
When talking to his mom during his deployment, he said:
I love these people (speaking about the Afghans).
We can't leave them alone.
They can't stand against the terrorism in their country alone.