Sunday, March 3, 2013

Too Young The Hero ... A-

It's the title of a Movie:  To Young The Hero.  It was a movie made for TV in 1988.  It is made from a true story of Calvin Graham.  

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, men and boys were rushing to enlist in the military to defend their country and liberty.  It was something that called young Calvin Graham, who was living mostly on his own, with his slightly older brother.  

Ricky Schroder, as Calvin Graham, without a place to call home

His father was dead, his sister had just married, and his mother's new husband wouldn't let him and his brother live with them.  His brother enlisted in the military and so Calvin decided to do so, as well.  At the age of 12, Calvin lied his way into the Navy to be part of the force fighting for the USA.

Ricky Schroder, as Calvin Graham, calling home after enlisting

He was sent to Asia to fight against the Japanese on the Navy Destroyer, South Dakota.  While on the destroyer, he was injured, saw plenty of fighting action, saw several of his close friends die, and was found out to be only 12 years old.   

Ricky Schroder, as Calvin Graham, during enlistment

After a general leave, he returned to the ship with a new leader who was not so kind to Graham's goal of staying in the Navy.  Rather than send him home, he was set-up as a deserter.  He was taken to the Brig to spend time for deserting his ship (going AWOL).  Of course, no one believed his defense of being only 12 and sent home.   

Ricky Schroder, as Calvin Graham, on the Destroyer South Dakota

After more than 40 days in detention, his sister was able to convince the Navy (with the help of the media) that her brother, barely turned 13, was innocent.
He was still given a dishonorable discharge from the Navy.

Ricky Schroder, as Calvin Graham, in the Navy Brig

It wasn't until in the 1970's that Graham received admission of an honorable discharge.  He was given back his rank and all awards (except for his Purple Heart award).  He was also denied medical benefits given servicemen.  In the 1980's he was finally given medical benefits and military pay.  He died in 1992 and was finally fully restored with his military awards in 1994.  

Ricky Schroder, as Calvin Graham, in Too Young The Hero

The movie did a great job at showing this and was very well done for a TV movie.  The part of Calvin was played by Ricky Schroder.  The movie also includes Mary Louise Parker as Graham's sister, Pearl.

Actual Picture of Calvin Graham

The movie was made in 1988, so don't expect a lot of new movie or television tricks.  But, it was well done and tells the story well.  I really enjoyed it.  A-  

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