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Everyday Heroes – A Reminder: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

May 26, 2014

I usually post my blogs on the first day of the month, but I decided to post my May message today in recognition of Memorial Day in the United States. There are so many stories I could share about self-sacrifice, courage, character, sense of duty, and heroic behavior. In an effort to come up with a story that would recognize extraordinary actions under extraordinarily adverse conditions, I researched articles, veterans’ sites, blogs, novels, short stories, movies, etc. My aim was to find something that would serve as an heroic example. Although I have frequently written here about Everyday Heroes who were not in the military, and have even highlighted animals who were my monthly Everyday Hero, I thought it best to concentrate on the military for this month’s blog.

After extensive research, I decided that a television series stood out as a perfect metaphor for the subject of this blog. The 10-part series THE PACIFIC is one of the most extraordinary productions to ever come out of Hollywood. Although the story follows the World War II experiences of the 1st Division deployed to the Pacific Theater during the war, and specifically follows the experiences of a few men in that unit, it is actually a testament to the selfless commitment and bravery of all those who served during WWII. By inference, it is also a tribute to all those men and women who have served our country in all wars. It is an authentic a portrayal of war, the camaraderie between those who serve, and the awful sacrifices made by those who serve. This authenticity was aided in large part by the fact that the series is based on the memoirs of two men who served with the 1st.

I watched the series unfold, as young men from communities all over the United States voluntarily left the comfort and safety of their homes and families, joined the less-than-nurturing, stressful environment of the United States Marine Corps, and deployed to strange and dangerous islands in the Pacific. The show does a masterful job of exposing the viewer to the fear these young men felt as their landing craft rushed them to shore to face battle-hardened Japanese soldiers, to the shock of actual battle, and the trauma of seeing their mates wounded and killed. Don’t think I enjoy watching bloody, horrifying reenactments of battle scenes. Just the opposite—I abhor war and its carnage. I felt the same way when I served in Vietnam. Sometimes war is necessary to preserve freedom. And that preservation of freedom is part of what motivates all military personnel.

THE PACIFIC firmly reinforced for me the memories of the sacrifices that so many made in order for all of us to have the lives we have today.

Although May 26, 2014, is an American holiday, there is no reason why this day of remembrance can’t be the catalyst for citizens of all countries that stand for freedom to remember their fallen heroes. Freedom wouldn’t exist without young men and women who willingly make the ultimate personal sacrifice to acquire, sustain, and grow it.

I encourage each of you to take a moment to think about the sacrifices made by so many, to do something to thank a current member of the armed forces of your country for all they do for the rest of us, and to thank a former member of the armed forces for their contribution to the preservation of freedom. A simple “Thank you for your service” will make someone’s day.

Below is a trailer for THE PACIFIC. I highly recommend you and your family members watch this series.  I know it’s violent and emotional, but taking the time to view the series would be a way to pay tribute to all of those who have served our country. At a minimum, you should watch the last part of the series, which includes interviews with men who served with the 1st Division and with family members of other men who served with that same unit.

 

Joseph Badal writes this monthly blog to highlight Everyday Heroes that set an example for others. If you have any stories about Everyday Heroes you would like to share with Joe, for consideration of inclusion in a future blog, please send your suggestion to Joe at badalbooks@gmail.com.  To see the rest of his website, go to josephbadalbooks.com.

Joe is the author of thrillers, including “The Pythagorean Solution,” ” Shell Game,” “Evil Deeds,” “Terror Cell,” “The Nostradamus Secret,” and “The Lone Wolf Agenda.” “The Lone Wolf Agenda” was the winner in the Fiction-Mystery/Thriller category of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in 2013. He has been recognized as one of the 50 Best Authors You Should Be Reading.  His short stories have appeared in the short story anthologies “Uncommon Assassins” and “Someone Wicked.”

His seventh thriller, “Ultimate Betrayal,” was released in April 2014.

Ultimate Betrayal cover

JoeBadalphoto

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2014 8:38 am

    What a perfect recommendation, Joe. Great homages to sacrifice and heroism like The Pacific and Band of Brothers should be required viewing prior to getting the right to vote at 18. Personally, I was awe struck by the story of John Basilone, who AFTER receiving the Medal of Honor and all the accolades and fame that rightfully comes with it, still went back to the Pacific to carry on the fight. He died there. He was safe at home. He had gave his all. He had done everything any nation could ask of one of its son’s. His life was set. He could have made millions hocking shaving cream, making movies, doing speeches, maybe even run for office. Yet, he went back to the hell that was the war. He was the only Marine in WWII to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. God rest his soul.

  2. May 27, 2014 9:47 pm

    Thanks for making us aware of this series. The story of a military campaign is after all, the collective stories of each G.I, the trials and tribulations, the separation from family and loved ones, leaving the comfortable and familiar to put ones life at extreme risk. Such a high price to pay, yet some have that courage, and deserve to be honored for their contributions. We can only marvel at it, never truly understand it.
    hs 5/27

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