Across the horizon of history, individuals who put God and others first continue to stand up and stand out.
The United States of America has a history rich with admirable Americans who have put others first in order to honor God and
to protect freedom. With God's help, "ordinary" men and women make an extraordinary difference which exceeds their
Today, we urge everyone to shift eyes off of the negative, blasting
media and onto what God has done and is doing through people willing to serve.
Embrace Your Important Role in U.S. History: We all can make a difference, but we must be willing.
We need to step up through prayer and action. Through willingness to serve, everyone can make an extraordinary difference.
Desmond Doss is a stellar example of that:
No one suspected that Desmond Doss (1919-2006)
would emerge from an inauspicious home in Virginia to become a bona fide American hero. Yet that's exactly what happened.
Desmond grew up in a hard-working, Christian family. The media would have paid no attention to him as his dad was a carpenter
and his mom was a homeworker and shoe factory worker. Yes, Desmond's life seemed "ordinary," but God was preparing
him to do the "extraordinary."
A deeply religious man, Desmond Doss believed that
God had called him to never to carry a weapon. Therefore, in 1942, he opted to serve as a medic in the U.S. Army. He was ridiculed
for his beliefs by fellow soldiers and he was met with disdain by his superiors, but he never wavered from his convictions
as a conscientious objector.
In April of 1945, Desmond Doss's company fought the bloodiest
battle in the Pacific: The Battle of Okinawa. Hidden in caves and tunnels, the Japanese hammered our troops. The bloody battle
raged as the Japanese held their ground at the top of a 400-foot cliff now famously named, "Hacksaw Ridge."
Desmond Doss's battalion received distinct orders to overrun the cliff -in spite of its being full
of violent enemy fighters. Our braver warriors courageously headed to the cliff to defend our country, but the Japanese retaliated
with heavy weaponry which pummeled our soldiers until they could go no further. The massive suffering was sickening to the
heart and soul of Doss.
He realized that dozens of casualties were left behind, and myriads
suffered in horrific anguish. He desperately desired to help them. Their needs were urgent. Yet it felt impossible for him
to get them out.
But Doss was willing. And, in response, God helped him to help his buddies.
In his own words, Doss movingly said, "They
were my buddies. Some of the men had families and they trusted me. I didn't feel I should value my life above my buddies so
I decided to stay with them and take care of as many of them as I could. I didn't know how I was going to do it."
With machine gun and artillery fire bursting all around him, he repeatedly chose to run into the
kill zone to find and rescue the wounded. Each rescue required him to drag each man to the edge of cliff.
The manner by which he lowered each buddy to safety was astounding: He didn't have rope long enough to do
the job, but the Lord brought to his mind a knot he had learned long ago in his childhood. Remembering his childhood experience
of rescuing flood victims, he was able to construct a strong sling that enabled him to lower the men one-by-one to safety.
Desmond Doss worked for 12 hours until he was sure there were no more wounded left. He later recalled, "So I just kept praying, 'Lord, please help me get one more.' One more...until
there was none left, and I was the last one down."
|President Harry Truman presenting Desmond
Doss with the Medal of Honor in 1945.|
Amazingly, Desmond Doss saved the lives of 75
It was indeed one life at a time. Desmond Doss received the Medal of Honor for his heroism.
Doss later said, "When you have explosives and bullets so close you could practically feel
it and not get wounded up there, when I should have been killed a number of times, I know Who I owe my life to as well as
my men. That's why I like to tell this story; to the glory of God. Because I know from a human standpoint, I should not be
This phenomenal story is an example of perseverance, selflessness, courage,
and faith in Christ. Doss was wounded in the process, but he never regretted being able to save so many lives.
It is an example of how one "ordinary" man was used for the extraordinary.
Did you notice
the key ingredient in the preceding story? Willingness. Yes, a key part to this story is that Desmond Doss was willing. He
had a willing heart to serve and listen to the Lord.
May we all be so willing! Let's all do
our part to serve God, help others, and protect freedom. We each can do something to make a difference for the good of God
and country. Ask the Lord to show you each day what you can do for others around you. Sometimes, it will feel impossible.
Yet God makes it possible.
Every day is a gift filled with purpose and potential. Even
if it seems small and "ordinary" to you, it could lead to something "extraordinary" to the people in your
Be prayerful. Be willing. Take action.
In God we still trust,
Carrie and Stacie Stoelting
Sisters and Founders of Unite the USA