If it is struggle that defines a man, there should be not the slightest doubt about what kind of man Carl Brashear was. After reading the book “Men of Honor” over the summer and checking on the validity of the story I realized this man made a tremendous impact on our society. Master Chief Carl Brashear faced many difficult adversities throughout his diving career. He was able to overcome tragedies and turn them into triumphs. When Carl Brashear joined the Navy, the civil rights of people with disabilities were not protected by law. When he became disabled the Navy insisted he retire, instead he fought and succeeded to be restored to full active duty.

To begin my research into Carl Brashear's background I began by checking newspaper archives, internet searches and most importantly the US Navy. After sifting through information I was able to separate the facts from the fiction and continue with my research. I researched the diving suit worn during the time period and interviewed an amputee about the difficulties he must have faced to achieve his goal.

The Navy records interviews from people who they feel have made a significant impact. I contacted the Naval Institute in Annapolis Maryland after learning they had interviewed Carl Brashear back in November 1989 and March 1990, and the records were released to the public in 1998. I sent for a copy which I received several weeks later. I also interviewed a Naval Commander about racial discrimination in the military. Throughout my research there was nothing that compared to the emotional content of the 45 pages I read from Carl Brashear’s funeral guest book, ranging from personal acquaintances and diving buddies, to complete strangers. Yet perhaps my greatest acquisition of all may have been the video clip located on my conclusion page, where Brashear himself talks about the many advertises he overcame, and the tragedy he turned into a triumph. The clip was found DePauw University’s website and after a few emails I was able to acquire the clip with their permission.

My analysis conducted from my research is that it took the character of a person like Brashear and the reality of seeing him in the position, to overcome the ignorance and fears of the people of that time. Brashear helped prove that integration in the armed forces could work and work well. That all people have the right to prove themselves and have a job regardless of their race, creed, color, or disability.

The decision to do a website was based on the fact that I thought it was the best way to represent who Carl Brashear was and what he had to go through to achieve his goals. To most racism and disability are pretty significant in history. People who turn away from tragedy can never face triumph, yet those that run past it turn out like Carl Brashear.

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