Too small for sports, that couldn't stop him from trying. Then, a
basketball injury left him on the floor. Awakening in a hospital, things didn't seem
right. His eyesight deteriorated causing him to require thick glasses. Soon
his hearing also began to diminish. Still, he chose to serve in uniform and quickly
earned his sergeant's stripes. Then came World War II.
Realizing his sight and hearing problems could prove dangerous to the men he
led, he voluntarily gave up his stripes to serve as a private. It was one of his
hardest choices, but he knew it was the right thing to do.
On an island in the Pacific the Japanese had his squad pinned down by a hidden
machine gun. Squinting through his thick glasses, the young private from Ohio
suddenly made out its vague shape. Crawling towards it he was shot in the shoulder.
"Come back," his men yelled at him. Maybe he couldn't hear them,
maybe he had just determined to do what needed to be done. Ignoring his own pain he
continued to crawl through the mud to throw one grenade, then another, finally a third.
The enemy gun fell silent, the men of his squad were spared, and the brave little
guy with the thick glasses sank slowly back into the mud.