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Bella Fitch

Sophomore Bella Fitch is a first-year reporter for the Prowler. She decided to join the Prowler because she is passionate about writing. She thought it would be a fun change of pace to write articles and...


The views expressed in this article belong to the reporter, and do not reflect the views held by Rockbridge County High School, the Prowler Staff, and its members.

Hacksaw Ridge and Desmond Doss’s Valiant Story
Amber Carter
Although under a lot of pressure and gunfire, Desmond comes up with the idea to use rope nearby to lower his captain down the ridge and to the safety of other U.S. soldiers below.

The movie everyone in Virginia knows about, “Hacksaw Ridge”, the film based on a true historical story that took place here in Virginia. The story is about a young man named Desmond Doss who grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia. He goes off to fight for his country, even though he is strongly devoted to his religion, and the belief to not harm or kill anyone. They said you had to kill in the military, but if you stay devoted to what you believe, do you really?

Desmond Doss, was just like everyone else, except he became deeply devoted to his beliefs as a conscientious objector. He looked to this belief after he almost killed his brother when they were boys, and almost shot his father to protect his mother. He swore after that, that he would never hurt another person again, no matter the situation. Little did he know how this would affect his journey in the military and his life.

Desmond had a pretty normal life, until he became interested in the medical field after saving a man’s leg; where he also met his girlfriend, Dorothy Schutte. He became intrigued by medicine and was encouraged to study it through Dorothy, who happened to be a nurse. Meanwhile, his brother leaves home to join the military to help with the war, this sudden decision made by his brother actually piques Desmond’s interest to join the military as well, but as a medic.

Desmond went into basic training clueless to how the other men would react to his religion, and unknowing of how much his beliefs will be tested in the process. Desmond is a thin man, giving him a bit of a disadvantage compared to the other men in his division as well. So, although Desmond was determined and never gave up during basic training, when it came down to the guys receiving their guns, he refused, sticking to the vow he made to himself and his religion. When Desmond made the bold statement to his sergeant that he wouldn’t kill, the sergeant was not happy and even tried to humiliate him in front of the other guys in his division. However, Desmond didn’t care at all; he was confident in his beliefs and didn’t let any kind of humiliation get to him or make him give up. 

Although, he did face a lot of opposition from the other guys, the sergeant, and the Captain. He eventually ended up in a jail cell, still refusing to touch a gun or any kind of weapon, he only wanted to be an unarmed medic and save as many people as he could. With a little influence from his father, a notable veteran, the court decides to allow Desmond to go into battle as a medic, no weapon of any sort. Desmond, already knowing the risk, is happy with this decision, and everyone moves on, off to the booming Battle of Okinawa.

Desmond did indeed end up going into battle with only his medic pack and helmet, he and another medic went person to person helping their comrades in need.  Even when Desmond seemed to be scared, he didn’t go for a gun at any point. However, it didn’t matter that Desmond and the other medic were doing everything they could, the captain made the decision to retreat because of the many casualties and amount of injured men. 

Despite the captain’s orders, Desmond actually made the hesitant decision to stay up on the ridge, to try to save as many men as he could, even the Chinese, the ones they were fighting against. He had created a pulley to slowly lower people down the ridge to safety, using his bare hands, and even though his hands were raw he continued, and overall saved seventy-five men.Even though it was a mixture of American and Chinese soldiers, he didn’t care, he was just determined to save as many as he could.

This awe inspiring act of humility made his comrades and the higher ups look at him with respect, it totally changed their impression on him, even if he was a conscientious objector. The whole unit of men ready to go back up the ridge to continue the battle had Desmond pray for them, not because they believed in god, but because they believed in  how much Desmond believed. They actually did end up ending the battle victorious, but Desmond did have a severe leg injury from kicking a bomb to get it away from his comrades, saving a couple more lives.

Desmond showed such great valor and resilience throughout his journey in the military and wasn’t one to falter under pressure. He expressed and revealed how he is dedicated to his beliefs and not once did he have a little doubt in them. Desmond Doss was a very noble and brave man and received multiple medals for this, the main one being the “medal of honor”. He never gave in and never gave up no matter the situation. This movie teaches students and viewers that even though others may detest and oppose your beliefs, sticking to them and not giving in can give you a strength a lot of people do not have.

If you’re interested in the movie feel free to go watch it on Netflix or you can find the movie on Youtube.

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About the Contributor
Amber Carter, Reporter
Junior Amber Carter is a first-year Prowler reporter excited to join in on keeping you in the loop about everything going on. She has moved here recently all the way from California to become a new addition to Rockbridge County High. In Amber’s free time she enjoys spending it artistically, painting, writing, graphic design, etc. but she also enjoys many sports. She also hopes to share and help you know any important information to get you through this exciting journey of highschool. She is happily taking on The Prowler with the intent of discovering and getting to know all of Rockbridge High School’s amazing students, staff, and the great events that occur during the school year.

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