Alvin York (1887-1964)

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Alvin York (1887-1964)

Alvin York was one of the most decorated soldiers in World War I. He is most commonly know by the nickname, Sergeant York. When he registered for the draft, he answered the question “Do you claim exemption from draft?” He responded “Yes, Don’t want to fight.” When drafted, he was troubled by the conflict between his pacifism and his training to be a soldier. His battalion commander, also a devout Christian convinced helped convince him God meant for him to fight.

As a soldier in World War I, he gained notoriety by his performance in the Battle of Argonne Forest where he attacked the Germans. When members of his group were unable to proceed, he went after the Germans by himself. He killed 17 through sniper fire and 6 more with his Colt .45 pistol. By the end of the engagement, York and his small band of men marched 132 German prisoners back to the American lines.

His actions earned his the Congressional Medal of Honor, three months after the end of World War I. Your reported, “A higher power than man power guided and watched over me and told me what to do.” York refused to accept money for speaking about the war or writing about it, because he thought it was wrong to profit from what he had done. “This uniform ain’t for sale,” he told someone once. Instead, he chose to lend his name to charitable and civic causes.

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