The Hero Who Refused His Medal

A very interesting site by Dan Bjarnason has this wonderful tribute. For the curious – Further information and photos can be found in the link I’ve provided below in the comments.


Ola Mize could have stepped right out of a Hollywood movie. Except he was no actor, to put it mildly. He was the real deal.

Mize came from the humblest of backgrounds and went on to become one of his nation’s great heroes.

Col Ola Mize

Despite the adulation showered on him, he remained an anti-hero, so utterly un-Hollywoodlike; so foreign to the celebrity-centric universe of today’s pop culture. Mize was modest, quiet-spoken, selfless and unbelievably brave.

Born the son of a sharecropper in poor northeastern Alabama he left school in grade nine to support his family. Hoping to better himself, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Army, but was rejected because of his puny, 120 pounds. So he put on weight. Then he had to cheat on an vision test when Army doctors discovered he was blinded in one eye in a childhood accident. Mize enlisted in the famed 82nd Airborne in 1948…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 5, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. A fantastic story, and one hell of a soldier. Our soldiers have never let their country down, but our country has let our soldiers down. This is something that we voters must address with our elected representatives. Thank you for helping me to learn about this outstanding American.


  2. I left this comment at the original blogger’s post, wanting to share here, my sentiments. Thank you Gp.

    Truly an admirable man…not an ounce short of a real patriot. An honest-to-goodness hero that ought to be given the true and fitting honor befitting the selfless courage he showed: a vignette dedicated in classroom history books, so that our youth might be better able to identify what a hero and worthy role model IS as compared to the fake ones Hollywood and music moguls foist upon them in pretense and shameless profiteering exploits. Thank you for this wonderful and enlightening post about a REAL hero worth exemplifying and modeling after….


    • What wonderful sentiment for both the hero and the young ones who may follow after. I so totally agree with you and thank you very much for making the comment here as well as the original site, Morguie.


  3. Such an inspiring post…I am glad I read it in its entirety, from the link you included.


  4. The interview was exactly as the blog said: unassuming. Thank you for reblogging this, gpcox. Frankly, it brought a tear to my eye.


    • It did mine as well, Koji – that’s how I knew my friends here would enjoy it. You and I have a great bunch visiting our sites – don’t we!


  5. Great story. Eugene Fluckey (one of the revolutionary submariners) had to lie on an eye test too to get in the Navy.


    • That right there showed his dedication, didn’t it? Thanks for reading, Jacqui. I knew you’d like this one (trouble is – there are so many and I know I can’t catch them all)


  6. He fooled Army doctors into believing that he had full vision in both eyes?


  7. The complete soldier, in every way. Amazing man, and it is always good to hear that such a person survived to a ripe old age.


  8. Humility, without trumpeting it in oneself, is a rare quality.


  9. Additional info and photos of Outpost Harry can be found at____


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