“Men of Honor” is a story about the first African American US Navy Diver, Sr. Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear. This is a true story of valor, determination, and perserverance – all the characteristics of having faith. The faith that a person holds on to inspite of what the current circumstances look like. Carl Brashear’s faith that he would (not could-could is a dennotation that a goal is possible vs would- an all exhaustive certain end) become a Master Diver in the US Navy. Carl’s faith started with a promise made with his father. His father, who did not come into his own destiny, told Carl as he was leaving the farm to join the Navy ” Don’t! Don’t you ever come back here. Get in there and fight Carl. Don’t take promises. Bust their all rules if you have to. And when it gets hot, and it will don’t quit on me. Ever! Now go on. Don’t come back here” Mac Brashear’s departing words to his son, may have seemed harsh, but as a father who had accomplished little in life, only had a promise in the form of a command to give to his son. He told his son to be better than he was. As a father, he wanted Carl to promise him, to come into his destiny whatever it was going to be. Carl Brashear’s decision to serve in the US Navy did not exemplify his bravery as much as the decision to become a Master Diver. Master Divers were 100% white males, and experienced swimmers. Carl on the other hand, was a black male who swam in swamps, and had the odds against him from the instructors who had him doomed from the start. Carl Brashear battled Billy Sunday’s( Master Chief Petty Officer) discrimination, hatred, and intentional slander, but he stayed on course and always referred back to what his father told him- to be the best. There were various circumstances while he was in diver school where he could have given up- he saved a diver from dying and someone else received the medal (but he stoodby proudly without saying a word, he failed his first written exam (but he went to the library to be tutored), and even on final exam day Sunday cut his bag so he could not retrieve his tools as they fell into the ocean (Carl finished the exam which took 9 hours underwater). Sunday told him to just quit, but Carl worked until he found every tool and assembled the final exam project that would allow him to become a diver. He made it in comparision to his peers that finished hours ahead of him. He completed the task!!!! After becoming a diver, Carl pursued his greater goal of becoming a Master Diver. On a televised assignment, he found a missle underwater, and was enjoying the victory when one of the ropes broke and he saved his fellow mate and put himself in harm’s way-his leg was nearly severed. But as the trooper he is and remembering the promise of his father to be the best, he seperated himself from his family to work on returning to the US Navy as an amputee Master Diver. With the odds stacked against him again, the very person that was his biggest oppressor, became his biggest supporter-Billy Sunday (my point of view- God will make your enemies your footstool!!!!!). Carl Brashear went before the US Navy Board to be reinstated and through the pain, the unexpected circumstances, and determination HE MADE IT!!!! Sunday previously asked Brashear, “what did he (his father) tell you that makes you not quit” Brashear responded “He told me to be the best”. The promise made between Mac Brashear and his son Chief Petty Officer Master Diver Carl Brashear remained inforce despite the hearthach, despair, and trials. Carl stated to the Navy Board “I have spent most of my life in the Navy, only trying to succeed. However my quest has come at a great personal loss to those who love me. They too have made sacrifices. They too have endured great pains to support me. Give me my career back , let me finish it and go home in peace”. Just as Kierkegaard referenced Abraham’s faith and the promise, Carl’s faith and the promise was the only thing he saw in the distance, and nothing was going to keep him from fulfilling the promise.
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