Walt Disney, EMS Pioneer
In the summer of 1918, Walt was 16 — too young for the military. When he heard that the Red Cross Ambulance Corps would accept 17-year-olds, he lied about his age, joined, and began training. All the same, he almost missed his chance when he came down with influenza in an epidemic that killed about 20 million people worldwide.
The war ended. But the Ambulance Corps still needed 50 more men, and Walt was the fiftieth selected. He was on his way to France. For the next year, Walt drove an ambulance, chauffeured officers, played poker, started smoking, and wrote letters.