Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds (1919-1985) of Knoxville served in the US Army during World War II. He was taken prisoner by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. Edmonds was held prisoner at Stalag IXA POW camp near Ziegenhain, Germany. In January 1945, the Germans announced that all Jewish POWs in the camp were to report the following morning. As the highest-ranking non-commissioned officer, he ordered more than 1,275 American captives to fall out with him and fearlessly pronounced, “We are all Jews here.” He would not waver, even with a pistol to his head, to identify any prisoners by religion, preventing over 200 Jewish soldiers from being singled out for Nazi persecution and possible death. The Nazi commander backed down. For his defense of Jewish servicemen at the POW camp, Edmonds, an Evangelical Christian, was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations, Israel's highest award for non-Jews who risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.