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Men of Honor

Men of Honor, The Story of Carl Brashear Although it may be difficult to believe that a man who was once pronounced dead on arrival could later become the first amputee diver to serve in the U.S. Navy as well as the first African-American to reach Master Diver status, Carl Brashear is the man who did just that. The movie Men of Honor, released in 2000, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert DeNiro, only touches on the tremendous adversities that Carl Brashear has faced throughout his life. His story is one of struggle and triumph, but his only goal was to follow his promise to his father, to succeed, no matter what obstacles were to overcome.The movie is stunningly close to the real life experiences of Carl Brashear, which is not really typical for a Hollywood movie. One reason might be that Brashears story is so incredibly amazing that a Hollywood storywriter could almost write it. Carl was born in 1931 and grew up with sharecropping parents, who lived in segregated Kentucky. He did not have the chance for a good education as whites had, and life in general was much harder for blacks anyway. Carl wanted to join the Navy from an early age on. The film shows Cuba Gooding Jr. as Carl Brashear, who leaves his home to join the Navy. Throughout the movie, Carls promise to his father that he would not give up and always try to succeed, influences Brashears behavior and his will to achieve his goal, becoming a master diver. But the way to that goal would be long and very hard, and many obstacles were to overcome. Most African American Navy sailors were to be stewards, and there was no real chance to be promoted to anything else besides that. In both, history and movie, Carl had to break the old racist rules in order to make his way beyond the duties of a steward. Carl was able to show his tremendous swimming skills when he joined the white sailors on a whites-only swim day, where he showed everybody that he would be of better use in other depa...

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