Using a series of accounts and re-enactments, Medal of Honor remembers the brave making extraordinary human efforts in wartime.
As someone who watches Film & TV for a living, it is easy for me to imagine heroic war events due to the variety of narratives thrown at us, entertaining mass audiences with Hacksaw Ridge and Dunkirk. However, it is particularly important to remember that these moments of extraordinary bravery happened, earning those soldiers the prestigious medal of honor. Netflix documentary series Medal of Honor serves us a timely reminder on the eve of Remembrance Day.
Medal of Honor uses historical re-enactments, accounts from witnesses and archived documents to detail the heroism of some of these events. Each episode is a different case study from a specific war event.
Episode one tells the legendary case of Army Sgt. Sylvester Antolak, who received a posthumous medal due to his heroic efforts in Cisterna, Italy in 1944. His unit was pinned down by enemy fire, and Sylvester took the wild initiative to run at and attempt to dodge enemy lines, distracting the opposition but giving his soldiers an open chance to make ground from their disastrous situation.
As Army Sgt. Sylvester Antolak continues to run, he continues to take a bullet from the heavy machine guns, dropping to the floor, but each time he gets back up and keeps running towards the enemy. His soldiers are inspired and eventually make ground, but the heroism of Sylvester was so outstanding and dangerous, he caught the enemy off guard, who were equally surprised at the ground caused by a lone soldier.
Medal of Honor details equally heroic accounts in each episode, from our recent modern wars to the horrors of both World Wars. At a time where we need to be reminded to remember, the Netflix documentary series gives eight episodes that detail the courageous soldiers that have sacrificed for our freedom.
Here is an episode by episode breakdown of the series below:
EPISODE 2 – CLINT ROMESHA
Outgunned and outmanned during an attack on a remote Afghanistan outpost in 2009, U.S Army Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha leads an improbable defense.
EPISODE 3 – EDWARD CARTER
Relegated to the rank of private due to institutional racism during WWII, experienced soldier Edward Carter single-handedly cripples an enemy stronghold.
EPISODE 4 – HIROSHI HERSHEY MIYAMURA
Resorting to hand-to-hand combat, Hiroshi Hershey Miyamura covers the retreat of his men as waves of Chinese soldiers overrun his position in the Korean War.
EPISODE 5 – VITO BERTOLDO
Declared 4-F due to poor eyesight, Vito Bertoldo later joins the U.S Army anyway and ends up halting an enemy advance alone at the front lines.
EPISODE 6 – JOSEPH VITTORI
During a vicious nighttime battle in Korea, U.S Marine Joseph Vittori rotates between machine gun nests, making the enemy think it faces a larger force.
EPISODE 7 – RICHARD L. ETCHBERGER
His radio station besieged by Vietnamese troops, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger is exposed to enemy fire while his comrades evacuate.
EPISODE 8 – TY M. CARTER
U.S Army Specialist Ty Carter’s bravery while wounded and under fire earns him the second medal of honor awarded for a Taliban attack in 2009.