The life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner and famed survivor of World War II, has been told through his 2003 autobiography “Devil at my Heels”, aThe life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner and famed survivor of World War II, has been told through his 2003 autobiography “Devil at my Heels”, a 2010 biography by Laura Hildebrand titled “Unbroken” and a 2014 film by Angelina Jolie. This 2014 memoir with assistance by David Rensin is formatted with short chapters providing inspiration and spiritual hope for every human being.
The memoir also provided fresh details of Zamperini’s life. Like my two sons, Zamperini was an Eagle Scout. I did not pick up this fact in the book or movie “Unbroken”. Zamperini attributed much of his WWII survival to skills to his Boy Scout merit badge training and their motto: “Be Prepared”. Second, after WWII, Zamperini committed his life to God. This important factor was mentioned in the book “Unbroken” but notably absent in the movie.
Zamperini was humble and did not see himself as a hero. By turning his life around, he became a future role model to all. Everyone is tested in different ways throughout their lifetime and Zamperini provides methods and examples on how to react to difficult circumstances through preparation, and mind over matter through a positive attitude. ...more
Chuck Yeager grew up poor facing hardships and personal tragedies, but his family provided for his necessities through a strong work ethic and the touChuck Yeager grew up poor facing hardships and personal tragedies, but his family provided for his necessities through a strong work ethic and the tough times were put in the rearview mirror. When he started school he was seated alphabetically noting:“I sat in the back in the daydreamer’s row with the other Ys.”. He professed that his dreams were not about flying, but like a fish to water he landed in aviation. Full of ambition and gifted with keen eyesight he literally soared to uncharted territory with success following his exhaust trail.
He was self motivated, consumed by aviation to the point that there was nothing he world rather do than fly a plane. Although he lacked a college education Yeager was so intrigued by every aspect of aviation including engineering that throughout life he remained his best mechanic. The WWII ace and Vietnam commander of 5,000 is best remembered for being the first test pilot to break the sound barrier. Dedicated to serving his country he rose to become an Air Force general. The man with “the right stuff” was presented Collier Trophy by President Truman, the Harmon International Trophy by President Eisenhower and the Peacetime Congressional Medal of Honor by President Ford.
The autobiography is just as much a testament to Yeager’s wife Glennis, whose name prominently graced his aircraft. In short order his young bride became a mother of four constantly moving from one remote airbase to another. With the understanding that her own gifts and talents may never be realized she gracefully accepted her lot in life. As a role model for military spouses she deserved her own award.
Yeager’s life story including Operation Golden Trout is a great historical account.