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Ever Hear of Desmond Doss?

Take A Mulligan

May 26, 2019
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

First of all, Happy Memorial Day to everyone out there. The unofficial start of summer. Hot dogs, hamburgers, parades, reunions, picnics and to top it off......"a three-day weekend." However if you're pretty much retired as I am, three-day weekends are help often in my life. Ah, the hardships of retirement. But, but, but, there is more to the celebration of Memorial Day than the aforementioned activities mentioned. This coming Monday, the last Monday of May is celebrated and respectfully acknowledged for all of our military veterans that have died in the line of service and the protection of our constitutional rights. We also take some time to say thanks and honor each and every Veteran that served honorably in the Military. Today, let's meet PRIVATE FIRST CLASS DESMOND THOMAS DOSS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY.

Last week for the very first time I watched the movie, "Hacksaw Ridge." This is one of those rare movies that didn't get much attention at the box office but is truly a unique movie to watch for sure. It's the true story of Desmond Doss who served in the U.S. Army from 1942-19466. Doss was one of those unique and rare individuals that clearly defines a hero. He was a deeply religious man, who endured some hardships and horrible family abuse growing up which brought him to a personal decision that he would and could never touch a gun. However at the same time, he felt it his American duty to enlist in the Army so as to defend his country by training to be an Army Medic.

Doss was the only American soldier to fight battles at the front lines without ever carrying a weapon of any kind. He believed strongly in the commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill and that along with almost killing his Father when he was about 15 years old, joined the Army but refused to carry a weapon. You have to see the movie to see how hard it was for him to even stay in the Army. He was arrested and tried for Court Martial at one time. But Doss persevered.

Article Photos

John Sheda

He became that Army Medic and in one of the bloodiest battles in World War ll, the Battle of Hacksaw Ridge, on a strategic island called Okinawa, some 350 miles south of Japan, Private Desmond Doss personally carried, pulled, bandaged and saved 75 wounded men behind enemy lines, and kept returning time and time again praying, "Lord, help me get one more." Here are his own words describing his moral and religious convictions; "I received the Ten Commandments and Lord's Prayer illustrated on a nice frame, and I had looked at that picture of the Sixth Commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill.' There's a picture that had Cain and he killed his brother Abel, and I wonder how in the world could a brother do such a thing? I've pictured Christ for savin' life, I wanna be like Christ go savin' life instead of takin' life and that's the reason I take up medicine."

On November 1, 1945, President Harry S. Truman presented Private First Class Desmond Doss with the Medal of Honor for his bravery, dedication and heroism. Doss spent 5 years in Rehabilitation after the service from being seriously wounded three different times. Here are President Truman's words:

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private First Class Desmond Thomas Doss, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty from April 29 - 21 May 1945, while serving with the Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, in action at Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands.

Happy Memorial Day to all of our men and women who serve and have served valiantly and honorably in the United States Military and for all those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Take some time this holiday weekend to think about their heroism and if you get a chance rent this movie. You'll be glad you did. Jsheda@indytel.com or call me at 319.327.4640.

 
 
 

 

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