While am looking for something to watch so that I could fall asleep. This particular movie caught my interest. The title of the movie is Men of Honor, lead actors are Cuba Gooding Jr. as Carl Brashear and Robert De Niro as Master Chief Billy Sunday. It caught my interest because the lead actor is an Afro- American; you may think so what if he is an afro-American? Just so, you know my love and my life his afro-American. Let me share the story of the movie.
The story begins in a farm where young Brashear is plowing the fields with his daddy (Carl Lumbly) who tearfully said to his son “Don’t end up like me son”. There is opportunity open for enlist to the navy. Brashear leaves the town with a hope that there is a bright future to be part in the navy. When he is about to ride the bus his daddy give him a custom built portable radio, with indication of A.S.N.F. Brashear did not even know what is the meaning of A.S.N.F. and he no longer have time to asked about it. On the other hand, the recruit soon finds that his not part of the navy but he will be assigned in the kitchen on the USS Hoist in the South Pacific. Their superior points out that, black men in the US Navy have only 3-career choices- cook, officer's valet or "get the hell out of the Navy." This way, there is a complicated relationship between ambivalent racist and unabated righteous hero Brashear. Afterwards, Brashear and his friends go up on deck where the white officers are swimming (the black crewmembers are assigned a specific day when they can swim). Brashear, tired and hot, decides to jump in the water. The white officers try to chase him down, but Brashear out-swims all of them. The ships' captain meets with Brashear and, impressed with the boy's speed, decides to transfer Brashear to the search & rescue swimmers, a group assigned to rescue anyone who falls overboard on ship. A few days later Brashear assisted Master Chief Sunday on deck raising a navy diver from the sea floor with the wounded pilot. Having seen Sunday’s actions as heroic then he was inspired and vows to become a Master Chief Diver.
Brashear sent out to diving school, on their first meeting Sunday call him “cooky” and wont let him in, making him stand outside at attention, waiting to "report for duty" all day long. At the end of the day, he finally gets in. Most of other recruits are disgusted by the thought of sharing their bunk with a Negro. All of them went out, except Snowhill one navy candidate who attempts to be friend with Brashear. Starting that night, Carl and Snowhill are both subjected to severe hazing and intense training by Sunday. Before long, Sunday kicks Snowhill out of the program. Despite all the abuses and number impediments done by Sunday. Brashear still continue to shine and performs very well in all practical exercises. Unfortunately, Brashear finished 7th grade education and he is falling behind in his academic examination scoring 37 on his first examination. If he fails again, Brashear will be kick out of the program. One of their leave days, Brashear seek the help to a librarian who eventually become his wife Jo. At first, Jo refuses to be his tutor, due to that fact that Brashear just finished 7th grade education. However, Brashear stays the entire night at the library reading and learning more about the Navy program. Next morning, Jo is so impressed by his progress that she agrees to help Carl. The two spend many evenings together to review. Soon, Brashear is back in the classroom awaiting the results of another test. As the exams are passing out, Carl is elated; he has scored a 76, keeping him in the program.
One of their training exercises where they need to patch the hole of a sunken ship. The ship accidentally moves its position. One of the air hose of the diver was trap while the other flees for his life. Brashear volunteer to help and bring other air hose. After all the goodness in saving life of the other diver. Brashear was not recognize by his heroic actions, he was ignored. Instead, the diver who fled receives the medal for his actions.
That night, Brashear meets a young woman (Charlize Theron) who introduced herself as Gwen Sunday. After a little chit chat, Gwen takes Brashear to the bar where her husband and fellow divers. When they enter into the bar, Brashear and Sunday have a little argument about who can hold longer breath. Sunday challenge Brashear using pressurized diving helmets to determine who can hold their breath the longest. Carl manages to win, but is again overlooked for his actions. Carl sees Jo watching the fight, and she reveals that she has been accepted into an internship and she will not have time to help Carl anymore. Carl, smitten, asks Jo to marry him. Jo contemplates driving off in a taxi, but she returns and accepts.
That morning the captain “Pappy” of the school talked to Sunday. Sunday states that Brashear scores 94 on his last examination when he passed the last training examination he will have passed all the requirements for graduation. Still, the captain is not pleased of having a “colored diver”. As a result, Sunday confronts Brashear of not allowing him to pass the graduation. Brashear made an argument that Sunday is nothing without his diving skills. He points out that everybody says he could not have it, but he is born to be a diver. He believes that he can be the best of this field and that is his promise to his daddy. Sunday saw the radio and saw the indication A.S.N. F but he eventually breaks it.
On their final examination Brashear still show up he was not terrorize of anything. Master Chief Sunday explains that they need to assemble the machinery underwater, pieces are on the bottom of the river, and tools will be provided once call out. There is no time limit as long as you could stand the cold water.
Brashear is among the first to find the parts for his project, but when he calls up for tools the attendants cut a hole in the tool bag sending them falling all over the riverbank. Brashear patiently searches all the tools and parts he needed. Most of his classmates finishes assemble of equipment in about 2 hours. Still Brashear continues in assembling the equipment with shaking hands because it is too cold down there. Until the captain order Sunday to leave Brashear until he stops moving, meaning until he die because of coldness. Even so, Sunday decides to pull him up just in time Brashear project flange comes to the surface, completed. After 9 hours and 31 minutes, he completes the requirements for the graduation with honors from the Diving School. When he gets back to the bunk, he finds his father radio fixed and assembled with an indication “A son never forgets”.
After a year later, Brashear and his wife celebrates because he has been offered a job with Brooklyn Navy, but he is, hesitant because being a stand by diver would not move him up in a rank. His wife confesses as well that she is 3 months delayed. Brashear was suddenly overjoyed for the good news.
While Master Chief Sunday and his wife celebrating the New Years, they meet Lt. Hanks one of his students in diving school. Despite his best efforts to remain civil, Sunday ends up attacking the lieutenant. Charges are file against Sunday for assaulting a superior officer, and he suffers a rank reduction. He was also send to the rehabilitation for being alcoholic.
While he is watching television, there is a report about the current salvage operations. Brashear is one of several divers assigned to find the missing bomb. There is a point where he thought he already find the bomb but when he picks it up its just a mere coke can. At that moment, radar detected a foreign object that turns out the Russian submarine at where Brashear is standing. Brashear runs for life but his air line caught by submarine which dragged him in the ocean floor. Brashear was able to contact surface and inform them his fine. Because of that incident, he was available to find the nuke for them.
On the deck, Brashear is watching the bomb on board. An accident happen, the crane cracks and the wires went out. Brashear pushes other crew to save them. But his own leg is caught by the snapped wire. Later, he wakes in the hospital with Jo on his side. She said his leg was severe by the impact, doctor’s thinks he still can walk. The injury caused the end of his diving career and he was devastated.
Brashear shows his eagerness to return to full diving duty, but they feel that would be impossible on his condition. Brashear voices out that they can cut his leg and have it amputated and return after a fitting with a prosthesis. Jo was disappointed about the reckless decision and selfish attitude of Brashear and she walk out.
Brashear leg was cut and amputated. He begins the 4 weeks training of learning to move him and act with prosthetic. It was Sunday who help him out, Without the knowledge of Brashear, Sunday makes a deal with Captain Hanks – that Brashear will get a 4 week training before hearing with a Chief of Naval Personnel. Hanks agrees, on the condition that Sunday take immediate retirement if and when Carl fails to return to duty.
After the 4 weeks of training, Brashear appears before the Naval Personnel. They discussed about his eagerness to return to full diving duty with an amputated leg. Captain Hanks showed the court the new diving suit that weighing 290 pounds. Any divers must make a 12 steps inside it on land. Captain Hanks order that Brashear will show his demonstration on the next hearing. Brashear saw his family is one of the audiences. He insists that he will show it right there and then that he can stand and walk 12 steps. Sunday orders the other divers to help Brashear in setting up the diver’s suit. Then its time to assist Brashear in getting on his feet. Capt Hanks command that no one will assist him on standing up. It is obvious that Brashear aching the pain in standing up but he still manage to get up. Sunday commands him to make a 12 steps. When Brashear was on his 8th step he can no longer bear the pain and he is really struggling he almost give up. But Sunday puts it in one of those scare-you-silly speeches that training officers give their military recruits, "The navy diver is not a fighting man. He is a salvage expert. If it's lost underwater, he finds it... If he's lucky, he dies young, two hundred feet beneath the waves, 'cause that's the closest he will ever get to being a hero. Hell, I don't know why anybody would want to be a Navy Diver."
In addition, that keeps him moving forward until he reached 12th step. Then Capt Hanks realize that no more can be done, announces that the Navy will be reinstating Carl Brashear to full diving duty.
Carl Brashear was the first Afro-American who becomes a Master Chief Diver with an amputated leg. This shows how he was valiant in his dream to become a Master Chief. Even though there are lots and loads impediments, he never gives up in achieving his dreams. It’s a good thing that military now is reducing their being racism within its ranks.
It enlightens my mind and understanding of their behavior and attitudes. No wonder my love keeps on struggling to be the best among the best. Other than that, he remains to be a good man inside and out, but he never shows his weakness in times of downy. I always see a brave and strong person of him.