“Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” (2 Chronicles 20:20)
The month of July is a great time to celebrate the heroes who have made our country great! I want to tell you about an unlikely hero. His name was Desmond Doss.
Desmond Doss was a young man who truly believed in following God. It was World War II and Desmond wanted to serve his country. There was only one problem: He believed that he should not carry a gun or kill another person. So Desmond joined the army as a medic. He could serve his country by caring for the wounded soldiers.
When Desmond left for training, his wife gave him a beautiful little Bible to carry with him. His first night in the army, Desmond did what he always did. He kneeled beside his bed and prayed. The other men, seeing this, began to tease him. They called him terrible names and even threw their boots at him. They thought, “What kind of a soldier will he be?”
Desmond continued each day to read his Bible and to pray. The other men continued to call him names. Desmond was treated very badly because of what he believed.
A few months later, Desmond and his fellow soldiers were sent to fight the Japanese army. It was their assignment to climb a steep cliff and sneak into enemy territory. The men bravely climbed the cliff to the flat land above. Then, suddenly, the sounds of gunfire were all around them. The enemy attacked fiercely. The soldiers who could, scrambled back down the cliff. Only the dead, the wounded and one brave man stayed. That man was Desmond Doss.
Desmond thought quickly and, risking his own life, he began helping the wounded men. Using ropes, he lowered each and every one of the men back down the cliff to safety. He treated their wounds and lowered them all afternoon and into the night. When Desmond finally let himself down by the ropes, he had saved the lives of more than 70 men.
Desmond remained with his fellow soldiers who were fighting in that area, and one day he got hurt. He was sent home to get better. When he got to the hospital ship to go home, he noticed that the Bible his wife had given him was missing. He sent word to his fellow soldiers to see if anyone could find it.
These were the men who had teased Desmond. But all these soldiers got on their hands and knees and looked for Desmond’s Bible. He had risked his life for them and saved them. They now respected what he believed and respected him. They found the Bible and mailed it back to him.
Desmond Doss received the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award, because of his bravery. President Harry Truman presented the medal to Desmond himself. The president said, “I would rather have that medal than be president!” Wow. What an honor!
Desmond Doss believed in God. He lived his life being true to that belief. He was an unlikely hero, and a remarkable man. Today, thank God for heroes like Desmond who have helped to make our country great, and who help make today a wonderful new day—a new day with Jesus!
Join Jean Boonstra online at www.MyPlaceWithJesus.com for an exciting Bible study just for kids. And be sure to check kidsviewmagazine.org for a new column from Ms. Jean every month!