When Americans look back on World War II, many think of the more memorable events. We think of D-Day on the beaches of Normandie and the heroism of the sacrifices made by the many lives lost in order to gain a strategic location in France. We think of the tragedies that happened in Okinawa and Nagasaki as the first, and thankfully only, A-Bombs were dropped during international warfare.
Or maybe we think about the stories that we’ve heard from the soldiers who were on the front lines. The fighters who saw their friends, brothers, and family pass away in front of them as they were entrenched in battle.
There aren’t many good stories that happened to come out the years where the Axis fought the Allies. Sure, cumulatively we were able to keep Hitler from creating a New World Order, but there wasn’t the Christmas Truce as there had been in World War I, where soldiers from both sides laid down their weapons and met in the middle of the battlefield to play a game of soccer and think of a time where they weren’t surrounded by bullets and the possibility of death.
But there is the story of Desmond Doss, a man who drafted and joined the war effort not with the intention of actually killing anyone because his religion prohibited him from doing so, but in order to do whatever he could to help the soldiers on the battlefield. While a good portion of the movie seems to focus on the difficulties he faces during boot camp, and even being allowed to adhere to his religious beliefs before being shipped off to the battlefields, his heroic acts came not with a weapon, but in the lives he saved as a medic.
Something which often deserves to get more credit than is provided, especially when that hero happened to be wounded three times in battle.
Due out November 4, 2016, fans of Doss’ story can get additional background before the release by watching the award winning documentary “The Conscientious Objector.”