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Every story has a heroic journey. In Steven Spielberg 1998 action movie Saving Private Ryan, Captain John H. Miller is sent to retrieve Private Ryan, the last of four brothers, and to send him home. Lt. Col Anderson tells him that they have been ordered to go behind enemy lines to bring back Private Ryan. Being ordered by a superior, he hasn’t been given the choice to refuse so he sets off blindly in search of Ryan. On his way he faces several challenges that take his soldiers from him as he gets closer to Ryan. His initiation started with a long road of trials which are very important to the changing of Captain Miller. At first the squad has a lot of tension between each other because of the mission that they are assigned, they have no idea if Private Ryan is either alive or dead and why this boy is so important. Two men are killed during the mission and they struggle to find the true Private Ryan along the way.
Captain Miller and his squad are sided tracked by a German man who want Captain Miller and his squad to take a child to safety. Captain Miller says he can’t but Private Caparzo refuse to leave the child behind. While trying to save the child Caparzo is shot and killed. The greatest fears of Captain Miller are tested several times when the lives of his squad members are taken. The ultimate reward of the mission is Private Ryan. By finding Private Ryan the squad comes to peace knowing that they have completed their mission. Saving Private Ryan is a story of many heroes coming together for one goal, but the hero that stands out is Captain John H. Miller.
The movie gave Capt. Miller one of the hardest challenges ever faced by an Army Officer, storm the beaches of Normandy. Capt. Miller moves up the beach while still directing his squad, this challenging task would be more than enough for a regular man but what makes him a hero is his ability to take control of the beach. This heroic act saved many lives that would have been lost if he was not able to succeed. The next challenge would test both him and his men. They are given the nearly impossible task of finding and saving Pvt. Ryan. Finding one man among many thousands in the region seemed like an impossible task. Captain Miller faced the challenge head on.
The first step was to locate Pvt. Ryan. He storms and cleans the countryside and came upon a machine gun nest. While storming the nest a member of the squad was lost. Capt. Miller must keep himself and his men sane for the rest of the mission their search had just begun. Soon after, they discovered a downed aircraft and start searching for Pvt. Ryan. After searching for some time, Capt. Miller gets information he is in Ramelle. In Ramelle, the squad rendezvous with a squad of soldiers that are defending an important bridge in the middle of the city. Private Ryan is among the squad in charge of defending the bridge and Captain Miller advises him of his brothers deaths. Distraught but determined to complete his mission, he swears to defend their position against the enemy.
The entire mission was about finding Private Ryan, but when Captain Miller met Private Ryan and gave him the message about his family tragedy, he realized the mission was much more than just finding one man. The mission became much larger and was now about saving a family legacy for the future. Captain Miller gave his life to save one man but in reality saved much more than one man, he saved an entire family. Unfortunately, he would not be able to witness the importance of his actions but they were truly appreciated by Private Ryan years later. Captain Miller is a man from Shay’s vision of a hero. He shares his rewards with others by giving his gift to Private Ryan. He sacrificed for others as Shay portrays a hero’s actions to be.
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