Desmond Doss: Conscientious Objector by Frances M. Doss
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 – 12
Published by Pacific Press Publishing Association (September 22, 2015)
Genre: Non-fiction, Biography
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“As a young child, Desmond Doss was accident-prone– escaping death many times, Desmond knew that God had something big planned for his life. Little did he know, however, just how big that plan would be. In Desmond Doss; Conscientious Objector—the Story of an Unlikely Hero Desmond Doss’ second wife, Frances Doss tells the story of this phenomenal hero. Raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist, Desmond learned from an early age the importance of having, and following, strong convictions. When he was 18, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor causing America to declare war on Japan; shortly after, Desmond enlisted into the army. However, as Desmond was a Seventh Day Adventist, he strongly believed in following the ten commandments which forced him to enlist as a conscientious objector, since he refused to carry a gun into combat, saying that he wanted to save men—not kill them. In April, 1945, Desmond—along with his battalion—was transported to the island of Okinawa where they fought a gruesome battle with the Japanese. When the rest of his battalion retreated because the Japanese were pressing so hard, it would be a suicide mission to stay up there, Desmond marched back into the Japanese fire and started rescuing wounded men by lowering them down the 400 foot cliff called the Maeda Escarpment. He refused to retreat down the cliff until every single wounded man was saved. Five hours later, a tired, blood-soaked Desmond climbed down the Maeda Escarpment having rescued approximately 75 wounded men by lowering them down the cliff single-hand. Later, on his return to the States after the Americans had defeated the Japanese at Okinawa, Desmond Doss was reunited with his wife, Dorthy–who he had met and married before going off to war—and he was hailed a hero and rewarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by the United States president—the highest honor that America could bestow on one of her soldiers. Not many people at all have ever received a Congressional Medal of honor and most of the people who have were rewarded it on their coffin. After the war, Desmond and Dorothy Doss lived a happy life until years later when Dorthy was killed in an accident. Desmond was heart-broken—because Dorothy had been the one to always stand by him, even during the time when he refused to carry a gun into battle,despite the consequences—however, just a year later his heart was mended when he met and married Frances. But his story doesn’t end there. There have many other battles and victories for this man known as “the unlikeliest of heroes” and Frances Doss’ book Desmond Doss; Conscientious Objector—the Story of an Unlikely Hero tells those stories. This book is an amazing true story of a phenomenal hero who risked everything—including his career and life—follow his convictions. Desmond Doss is one of the most courageous men ever born in history and his story should be an example to people all over the world of courage, determination, and devotion.“
Desmond Doss’s story is just phenomenal. The courage and bravery of this man is unbelievable. I just can’t believe how dedicated he was to his convictions. While I don’t agree with all of them, I really admire his devotion. He is definately my role model.