It’s World War II, and you’ve got this absolute legend named John Basilone serving as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps. 

Born in 1916 in Buffalo, New York, this guy isn’t just a regular soldier. He’s a one-person army, the real-life action hero you’d expect to find in a Hollywood movie.

Basilone in 1943 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

John Basilone was the kind of man who walked into a battlefield with courage as his shield and determination as his weapon. He was so exceptional that he was the only enlisted Marine to earn both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross during the entire war. These are the military’s top honors, mind you.

What you’re about to read isn’t your average war story, and Basilone isn’t your average hero. He’s the epitome of bravery, the kind of guy who’d fight a thousand battles and still sign up for one more.