Inspiring Soldier, Desmond Doss

My journey from Jakarta to Makassar City was accompanied by a movie based on a true story entitled Hacksaw Ridge. I’ve seen this movie trailer some time ago. However, I had the opportunity to watch this movie when my finger scroll the selection of films that are on Garuda Indonesia flight.

When I saw this movie, I was very impressed with the main character, Desmond Doss. A heroic act that made me shed tears. In my heart, I said he was incredible. So incredible! Mentioned in some references and as well shown in the movie that he refused to use weapons during combat. But he was anxious to do something for his country like other young men did. Refuse to use weapon is not without reason. One time he once pointed a gun in the face of his father during a dispute between his parents. Doss also hit his brother with stone until he was injured.

The experience made him firm to not use a riffle as weapon during the war but chose as a paramedic. Courage at the forefront of battle showed without arms even to defend themselves once.

A few things crossed my mind. A strong belief in God made him so eager to save the wounded soldier. He had a tremendous power when he had to bring down one by one soldiers who were pulled from the battlefield of World War II, in 1942. With the rope there, Desmond Doss down to dozens of soldiers.

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According to his confession, he managed to pull down about 50 U.S. soldiers. However, the army who guarded under the cliffs told that more than 70 soldiers successfully descended from a cliff that about 400-foot-high. After successfully bringing down every wounded soldier, in his heart, Doss always said to Lord Lord, help me get one more. Just one more!

desmond_dossThis heroic attitude showed him when he was on the front line when the U.S. soldiers stormed the Japanese soldiers on a cliff in Okinawa, the Maeda escarpment on Saturday 5 May. That day is a Sabbath day where based on his belief he should rest. I think Doss is great when he does not care about the Sabbath and keeps looking for the wounded American soldiers to be evacuated. On the other hand, extraordinary effort also when he had to avoid the incursion of some Japanese soldiers who knew of his existence. Survival not only because of luck but must be done with effort and belief. Doss’s experience proved that God’s power was present and protected him from the sharp armor of the Japanese army at that time. 

Because of his courage, Doss was awarded several military awards and the United States government. Soldiers serving as 2nd platton medical personnel, B company, 1st battalion, 307 infantry, 77th infantry division got bronze star medal for salvaging wounded soldiers. He also received awards such as medal of honor, purple heart, world war II victory medal, and combat medical badge.

Doss died at the age of 87 years on March 23, 2006. The man who served in the 1942-1951 military had experience in the battlefield in Okinawa, Leyte and Guam. Thank you Desmond Doss for the very touching stories of life, courage, serving the wounded to position his own at risk of being killed in the battlefield. His courage convices me more that we have to respect people no matter who they are. As well our lives is about to serve others with heart. 


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