I just finished reading Unbroken, the biography of Louis Zamperini’s life as an Olympian, a WWII bombardier, a POW in Japan, and his struggles to overcome PTSD (which wasn’t diagnosed in the 1940s) after coming home. He experienced extreme starvation, beatings, dehydration, disease, and harsh living conditions while floating on a raft for 47 days in the Pacific after the B-24 he was on crashed and then at the hands of the Japanese in the POW camps. He turned to alcoholism and was bent on revenge after the war, only to turn his life around when he became a Christian after attending one of Billy Graham’s tent revivals in 1949. From then on, this remarkable man served his Lord and used his suffering to drive his passion to help others. He founded the Victory Boys Camp in the early 1950s to help at-risk youth, which is still running under his son, Luke, as the Louis Zamperini Foundation. He lived to the ripe old age of 97! This man is a true hero, with an amazing legacy!
I finished reading Unbroken to our boys last night. Both of them loved the story, even though at times it was hard for them to follow with the Japanese names, some of the technical terms, and the multiple characters involved in the story. But we got through it, all 416 pages of it.
The hardest part of reading it to them, was the detailed abuse that Louis Zamperini endured while a POW. The book was far more graphic than the movie, and the boys got a real taste for the ugliness of war. (I told Heidi at one point that I don’t think I could ever read the book again as it was so gut wrenching.)
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