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       Wednesday, April 05, 2006

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A Hero Has Gone Home

Desmond T. Doss, Sr.

I wrote a paper about this gentleman once while I was still in school. I remember how an incredibly obtuse friend and I argued about whether or not Desmond Doss was a hero. Both of us were military brats living abroad (in Taiwan), and, like most 14-year olds, we knew everything. My friend (who is now probably a moonbat living in a commune out in Berkley or something) insisted that Doss was not a hero -- not because what he did was not heroic, but because of what he was, which negated his heroism.

Mr. Doss passed away on March 23 at the age of 87, in Alabama. On April 3, a horse-drawn hearse delivered his flag-covered casket to a grave site in the Chattanooga National Cemetery. Military helicopters flew overhead in a tribute formation, and the hero was laid to rest with a full 21-gun salute.

Desmond Doss received a Medal of Honor for his service to his country in World War II. While serving as a medic in the US Army, here's what he did to earn it:
While under enemy fire on the island of Okinawa, Doss carried 75 wounded soldiers to the edge of a 400-foot cliff and lowered them to safety, according to his citation.

During a later attack, he was seriously wounded in the legs by a grenade. According to the citation, as he was being carried to safety, he saw a more critically injured man and crawled off his stretcher, directing the medics to help the other wounded man.
Here's what my friend insisted would negate his heroic deeds: Desmond Doss was also a conscientious objector. He didn't have a problem serving his country -- in fact, he was eager to do so -- but he did have a problem killing another human being. So, he refused to carry a weapon while he did his duty for his country.
Doss, who refused to carry a weapon during his wartime service in the Pacific, was the subject of a book, "The Unlikeliest Hero," and a 2004 documentary, "The Conscientious Objector."

Medal of Honor Society records show he was among 3,442 recipients of the nation's highest military honor.
I stand by my statement: A hero has gone home. Rest well, Mr. Doss.

[FOX, Medal of Honor bio, Home of Heroes Profile, Wiki, Just Google It!]

Kate blogs at The Original Musings.

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posted by Kate at 3:16 AM  


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