U.S. Army during World War 2

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Desmond Thomas Doss was a devout Seventh-day Adventist, so he believed that one should never kill another person under any circumstance. He also believed that Saturdays were sabbath. It is easy to imagine that Desmond’s beliefs were very contradictory to his duties when he joined the U.S. Army during World War 2. Although Desmond enrolled as a noncombatant in the Army Medical Corps, he still received a lot of harassment and threats during his time in boot camp. The other recruits wanted him out of their unit, however, Desmond put up with the hard times given to him, and stayed in the 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.

In the spring of 1945, Doss and his Infantry were brought to help in the battle of Okinawa, atop Hacksaw ridge; a huge cliff face which the men climbed up using cargo nets to face the thousands of Japanese soldiers defending their homeland. Because of his religious beliefs, Desmond did not carry any weapons. Instead, he went around as a field medic, caring for other soldier’s wounds. However, this was no easy task, as his life was constantly on the line. Doss would advance as enemy gunfire whizzed by him, while mortars exploded near him, all in an effort to tend to and rescue his fellow men.

Day by day, the U.S. Infantry men slowly pushed forward, gaining ground. The number of medics that could push forward with the soldiers shrank, leaving Desmond to continue helping the wounded. Even on Saturdays, he still joined his comrades. Whenever Doss heard a cry for help, he responded, not considering his own safety. He would carry the injured on his back to bring them to safety, only to return to try and save as many as he could. One day in battle, Desmond was hit by a nearby grenade, sending shrapnel into his leg. Bleeding out, he tended to his own wounds and waited nearly five hours to be rescued. His rescue unit was shot at, and one of the men were wounded. He told the other soldiers to take the injured man instead of him and walked back. Desmond then had his arm shattered by a sniper. He patched up his own wounds, and eventually made it back to safety. That is when Doss’ time in battle ended.

Desmond’s display of heroism, bravery, and selflessness leave me speechless. In total, he ended up saving up to one-hundred wounded men. He put the lives of his comrades before his own, running into hell to save them. Doss would say “Please lord, help me get one more” as he brought wounded soldiers back to safety. He saved the same men who harassed him during boot camp, and who wanted him gone. Desmond Doss earned a Medal of Honor, as well as a Purple Heart award for his service.

Doss was born on February 7th of 1919 and passed away on March 23rd of 2006. He was born and raised in Lynchburg Virginia. After Desmond finished eighth grade, he worked to help his family during the Great Depression. He got a job at the Lynchburg Lumber Company, which exempted him from the draft. However, he still enrolled, because he wanted to serve his country. Desmond’s humble beginnings really help his selfless and wholesome character show, which is why he is such a big inspiration to myself and many others across America.

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U.S. Army During World War 2. (2022, Apr 25). Retrieved May 24, 2024 , from

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