I have a SPECIAL message for Michelle Obama…

It’s the Christmas season so I have an opportunity to enjoy family time. One of the things we get to catch up on is recent movies, and yes, I remember the time I had to suck it up and see “Joy Luck Club” and “Evita”…sucks being the only guy in the house with a wife and two daughters.

However, yesterday I was surprised when my wife Angela and the girls said they wanted to see “Hacksaw Ridge,” a true story from World War II based on the Battle of Okinawa in May 1945 and the heroic exploits of one Corporal Desmond Doss of Lynchburg, Virginia. I’d heard many great things from those who’d seen the movie, but amazingly, hadn’t seen any rave reviews and accolades for the film — that let me know it was good. I know that the film’s director is Mel Gibson, but I knew there had to be something very disturbing for Hollywood’s liberal progressives not to heap wide praise on the movie. And it didn’t take long to realize why.

First of all, there were some aspects of the film that touched me on a personal basis. You can just imagine my humble surprise to learn CPL Doss and I share the exact same birthday, February 7th. Also, CPL Doss resigned himself to raise his family in Georgia, my home state.

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But what I’m so honored to share with CPL Desmond Doss is our Christian faith. It was his firm commitment to the Lord, and the desire to serve his country that clearly comes out in the film. And it’s such a wonderful, wholesome story that shows how one can rise above circumstances and achieve an unimaginable greatness.

You see, the story of Corporal Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge is one of an ordinary man who accomplished extraordinary feats. Corporal Desmond Doss was the first conscientious objector in the history of the United States to be a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his courage above and beyond the call of duty during combat actions.

In different times, we recognized those who faced the enemy as heroes, not those who desert their post.

CPL Doss’ story is simply astonishing. Here was a young man who had a deferment from fighting in World War II due to his employment at the shipyards in Virginia Beach. However, he realized the nature of selfless service and sacrifice to a cause greater than himself. But, in doing so, and making that commitment, he volunteered, was not drafted,

Doss also realized that his commitment to his Christian faith, as a Seventh Day Adventist, could not be compromised. Doss was assigned to an infantry company of the 77th Infantry Division.

He had wanted to be a combat medic, but was ordered to do something against his conscience: carry a weapon. Even through harassment and facing a potential courts-martial, Doss never wavered, and in the end, triumphed and became a combat medic assigned to an infantry platoon.

Doss had already distinguished himself in combat operations in Guam and the Philippines before being deployed to Okinawa to face the imposing escarpment known as Hacksaw Ridge. To say Corporal Desmond Doss is a hero doesn’t capture the magnitude of what this one man did. His Medal of Honor citation details his courage.

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private First Class Desmond Thomas Doss, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty from April 29 – 21 May 1945, while serving with the Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division, in action at Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands.

Private First Class Doss 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 machine gun 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.”

Corporal Doss individually carried 75 casualties, alone, by himself, unarmed, lowering them off the escarpment into friendly hands. However, what is missing from the citation, but reflected in the film and spoken at the end in his own words was that Doss asked the Lord to help him save just one more man.

In that perilous moment, remaining behind alone while the rest of the Battalion withdrew from the ridge, he combed the battlefield seeking out wounded men, as the Japanese were patrolling for survivors. Doss knew that in and of himself he would not have had the fortitude and strength to complete such a task, so he went to his Heavenly Father to be strong and of good courage, and His Lord, our God, did not leave him nor forsake him.

But even more incredible, as if his miracle of saving 75 men was not, was the fact that the unit was ordered back up to Hacksaw Ridge for another assault. And Doss, even with his previous wounds and efforts, was asked to return as the combat medic, not because of what he’d just accomplished, but because of his faith. The film depicted the moment when the infantry unit stood at the base of the escarpment awaiting to ascend and they were behind the scheduled assault time — because they were awaiting Corporal Doss to finish praying. As it says in James 5:16 (NIV), “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” And they took Hacksaw Ridge.

You see, truth be told, CPL Doss was armed — he was armed with the word of God, his Bible. It says in Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV), “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

CPL Desmond Doss had the full armor of God, and his unwavering faith enabled him to do that which was above and beyond the call of duty.

But, contrast his faith, courage, commitment, and sacrifice to today’s military where we have secular humanists such as Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that deem any exhibit of Christianity as a crime punishable by court-martial. Consider the Navy chaplain who was punished for counseling Sailors based on biblical scriptures. Imagine our nation where we seek to punish a Middle School football coach who silently knelt and bowed his head with the players. Today, do we welcome and honor the faith of Corporal Desmond Doss in our military — heck, in our country?

And I would assert this is why the movie Hacksaw Ridge is not being talked about for award and acclaim…because of its message of faith. If you just go to see this movie to be entertained, you’ll miss out on an incredible blessing. My wife and daughters teared up, Austen visibly cried. This is a powerful movie that all Americans need to see…especially Michelle Obama so she can see that hope — true hope — has nothing to do with Barack Obama.

Corporal Desmond Doss passed away in 2006, and it just serves to remind us that we are losing the men of the Greatest Generation, of which my own dad was a member. They were men of immense courage. They were men who faced evil. They were men of strong conviction and commitment. They were men of faith who donned the full armor of God. They were men we must NEVER forget. And thank you to Mel Gibson for bringing the story of Corporal Desmond Doss to the screen, truly one for the ages.

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