Captain Louis Zamperini
Patriot, Survivor, POW, Olympic athlete, and Mentor to young men
Louis Zamperini joined the US Olympic runners in 1936 to represent America in the 5000 meter race and although this was a feat in itself, he became a household name not for his athletic prowess, but rather, he survived 47 days in a leaking life raft in the Pacific Ocean, was captured and tortured for years by the Japanese, and later in his life became a mentor to troubled youth across America. When his B-24 Liberator crashed in the Pacific, he and two crew members survived the wreck to drift on the ocean for 47 days. They were tormented by sharks the entire time, were strafed by Japanese airplanes, and eventually captured by the Japanese. Sick and wounded, Louis was transported to Japan and endured more torture there until the war ended. Returning to the US, he was a broken man but in a Billy Graham Crusade tent, he dedicated his life to God and spent the rest of his life helping troubled young men in inner cities. The movie “Unbroken” chronicled the first part of his life while the movie “Path to Redemption” follows the rest. The book about his life by Laura Hillenbrand “Unbroken” is a wonderful read.
It takes Valor to survive, but it takes Honor to dedicate your life to others. Valor Gear man of the month: Captain Louis Zamperiini.