Louis Zamperini Inspirations
By Joseph Parish
We would all like to have a nice large, comfortable yacht however if it’s like my situation the pocket book simply can’t handle the cost. On the other hand we might even want to purchase our own small aircraft. Although this idea may perhaps be a bit closer to reality it is still far from the confines of my budget. In either case we could under the right circumstances find ourselves stranded on the open sea for days at a time. In my area of the country it is not unusual during the summer months to hear on the evening news how a small craft was missing in the ocean. Possibly several days later that same craft is fortunately discovered with the occupants alive and safe.
One example of a situation such as this occurred to Louie Zamperini during the spring of 1943. Louie crashed his World War II aircraft while flying over the Pacific Ocean. He plunged down into the ocean and remained there for 47 days in his life raft.
As he sat for days on end in his life raft it is likely that Louise relived within his mind his past life events from his humble Italian ancestry onward. Upon moving from New York to California Louis spoke little to no English which made him an easy target for the area bullies. Noting the problems his son was encountering his understanding father instructed him in the fine art of boxing. It wasn’t long until he was beating up everyone he could. He had actually become addicted to fighting and was now the bully in question.
He would pick fights just to see if anyone could best him at the sport. Before long he hopped a train heading to Mexico. Louis had now progressed to the status of a bona fide hobo. Louis by now was continually getting into troubles of one sort or another. His brother in an effort to help him over this temporary hurdle suggested that he develop an interested in running and before long he became very efficient at track events. In fact, he was excelled so much that it earned him a scholarship to the University of Southern California as well as an eventual place on the 1936 Olympic team.
Zamperini had enlisted in the US Army Air Force in September of 1941 as a second lieutenant. Within a year he was assigned as a B-24 bombardier stationed in Hawaii. That brings us back to his current predicament in the lift raft after experiencing a mechanical failure in 1943. After he was adrift for 47 days he was rescued by the Japanese Navy. Since war was still in effect Louis was placed in a prisoner of war facility until the completion of the hostilities. This interesting gentleman is still alive and living in California today.
I mention Mr. Zamperimi’s situation to stress to you how you should also develop a firm will to survive under all conditions. As a survivor you are likely to encounter a vast number of situations where it would often be simpler to just give up. Fear of the unknown and what may lie ahead can be a crippling liability during a time of crisis. If one experiences a frightening feeling of fearfulness than the temptation to turn away from your goal is extremely great. When this occurs and you forsake reality you become less competent as a survivalist. Survivors are traditionally people who are comfortable dealing with reality and the uncertainties it brings with it. When confronted with adversities my advice to you would to be to first rethink the life and endurance that made Louis Zamperini the hero that he is and then try to duplicate his actions accordingly.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish