Posts Tagged ‘Okinawa’

This is a first!  This whole blogging thing is (for me) an evolving experience.  I am, by nature, an introvert.  In another time and place I might have been labeled a “geek” or a “nerd”.  I’m okay with that because I’ve learned to accept who I am is just that – who I am.  Still, it’s interesting to find out (repeatedly) that I’m really not all that unusual.  It just kinda felt that way for a long time when I was growing up.  (More on this later…)
The Conscientious Objector”  (2004)  —  movie review
This documentary is a biography of Private First Class Desmond Doss.  Doss was a Congressional Medal of Honor winner for actions occurring during World War II while serving as a medic with the Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division in Okinawa.
Doss’ CMoH Citation reads:
G.O. No.: 97, November 1, 1945.
He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high.  As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back.  Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying all 75 casualties one-by-one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands.  On May 2, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within eight yards of enemy forces in a cave’s mouth, where he dressed his comrades’ wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety.  On May 5, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer.  He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma.  Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire.  On May 21, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade.  Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover.  The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man.  Awaiting the litter bearers’ return, he was again struck, by a sniper bullet while being carried off the field by a comrade, this time suffering a compound fracture of one arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station.  Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers.  His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.
I would like to note Doss’ fellow soldiers put the estimate of men retrieved at over one hundred (100).  Doss’ testimony was that it was about fifty (50).  The officers investigating for the CMoH split the difference and reported seventy-five (75).  Pfc. Doss was the first “Conscientious  Objector” to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Doss did not refuse to serve.  Doss refused to carry a weapon of any kind into combat due to religious grounds.
This is a powerful documentary!  There are very few people who truly act their faith in their life every day of their life.  Doss was one of these rare individuals.  He simply would not kill.  Not to defend himself.  Not to defend others.  BUT – he would risk his life repeatedly to save others, even when they were on the brink of death.  Really, words fail me…  Very highly recommended!
Here is the link to the documentary on YouTube:
[NOTE: The above video is NOT the documentary which originally appeared in this post. That video is no longer available on YouTube.  I have replaced it with the one above.  The original documentary is available on desmond-doss.com as a DVD, but you will have to pay for it.   —   kmab (5 Aug 2020)]
So, why is this posting “a first“?  After all, I’ve done close to a hundred movie reviews (albeit most very brief).  It’s a first because I’m also including a link to a preview of a movie (“Hacksaw Ridge“) which is not out until November.  This movie is the Hollywood version  of Doss’ life.
Why am I doing this?  Because I believe in serendipity.  I was looking at YouTube going over some of the current releases and I saw the preview.
I watched the preview and then rushed to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Doss) to find out who this guy “Doss” was.
This led to jumping back to YouTube, where I noticed the documentary was the next link.  So, I watched the documentary….
I was so moved, I went back to watch the preview again.  I then noticed there was a whole string of “preview reviews” on the side.  Never having seen one of these before (yes, I freely admit to being a dinosaur), I was intrigued and decided to check one out.  That led to another and another and another…
I gather these “preview reviews” are a “thing” now.  Which is actually pretty cool – to me – in a nerdy kind of way…
Which in turn loops me back to the start of this post where I remarked how interesting it is to find out (repeatedly) that I’m really not all that unusual…
Now, I am looking forward to extra previews and the actual movie release in November!
On This Day In:
2015 The Beautiful Snow
2014 Nurtured By The Voices
2013 Précis
2012 Fear And Understanding
2011 Just Being Human

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