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6 Things You Need Know About Desmond Doss, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Real-Life Hero

Now showing in theaters nationwide is 'Hacksaw Ridge,' an extraordinary war story about Desmond Doss, a man armed with faith who saved lives without firing a single shot, and was awarded a Medal of Honor.

Now showing in theaters nationwide is 'Hacksaw Ridge,' an extraordinary war story about Desmond Doss, a man armed with faith who saved lives without firing a single shot, and was awarded a Medal of Honor.

Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge

The film shows Doss' unwavering faith and bravery by rescuing 75 men in the line of fire — and what is more outstanding is the fact that Hacksaw Ridge is based on a true story, and Desmond Doss is real. Discover more about this real life hero by reading 6 things about the exceptional American soldier unarmed in battle.

1. Desmond Doss was a devout Seventh-day Adventist.

Doss was a Bible-believing Christian and was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist. His strong faith and conviction were recognized in the 1980s when a school in Lynchburg, Virginia (his hometown) was renamed after him.

2. He was also a lifelong vegetarian.

Doss embraced the vegetarian life as much as he embraced non-violence. PETA recently posthumously honored him with a 'Hero to Animals' award last February 7, 2017 — his birthday.

3. Doss was most known in the military as a 'conscientious objector.'

His personal and religious beliefs had made him a pacifist in the army, and this is why he wanted to join the corps as a medic rather than a soldier. As a conscientious objector, he had the right to refuse to perform certain military activities on the grounds of his conscience, freedom of thought, and religion. In an interview, Desmond Doss mentions he wanted to be like Christ who saves lives instead of taking it.

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4. His refusal to kill and unshakeable faith earned him ire in the army.

He was ridiculed and bullied by his peers and other soldiers, while he devoted himself to the bible. Others felt that him refusing to work on Saturdays ("keep Sabbath day holy") was just an excuse to get out of work, and refusing to hold a rifle made the rest feel that they could not trust him with their lives.

5. Desmond Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor for his exceptional feat at the Maeda Escarpment ("Hacksaw Ridge") — and is the only one to win this honor as a conscientious objector.

Unarmed, the army medic achieved the miraculous and single-handedly rescued an approximate of 75 wounded soldiers in the line of fire at the Hacksaw Ridge, a 350-foot escarpment surrounded by Japanese troops. Doss was awarded by President Truman the Medal of Honor in 1945.

6. The feature film based on his life is directed by Mel Gibson and portraying him is Andrew Garfield–and the Oscar buzz is strong.

'Hacksaw Ridge' was released across the United States in November 2016, garnering positive reviews. The film serves as a strong comeback for director Mel Gibson. It has six Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing.

Directed by Mel Gibson, the World War II epic film Hacksaw Ridge now showing in cinemas.

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Hacksaw Ridge
Biography, Drama, History
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