Louie Zamperini was an Olympic Runner. He'd been to the Olympics in Germany and was training for the next Olympics in Finland, when WWII came along. He was drafted into the Air Force and trained as a bombardier on a B-24. The plane made it through several successful missions, but on one mission the plane was practically destroyed, limping back home to retirement. It wasn't any of these dangerous missions, but actually a rescue mission in another plane where Louie and the crew went down. Only three men survived. They floated on a raft for 47 days in the Pacific Ocean, one of the men eventually dying. They endured hunger, thirst, sharks, storms, even an attack from a Japanese plane. After floating some 2,000 miles from the crash site, they came to a group of islands taken over by the Japanese. They endured at least three different POW camps under extreme circumstances. After two years in these camps, they were rescued, mainly because the war had ended.
Louie then had to endure all the hardships that many veterans have to silently endure with little to no help, especially in those days. He married and became an alcoholic and was filled with anger, hatred, and was consumed with vengeance from all that he went through. His wife eventually talked him into going to a Billy Graham crusade held in the Los Angeles area, where Louis turned his life over to Christ.
This is an amazing story of hope, courage, and forgiveness. I'm not a WWII or history buff, by any means, but I loved this book. It was a captivation story that truly inspired me and causes me to have a newfound respect for those men and women who serve our country in war efforts.