Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Freedom


I had a totally different direction for my TT post until I received an email from my wonderful hubby. His compassion for and dedication to our magnificent country is admirable at the very least. First, the excerpt from his email. Then why he was so adamant about his stance.
"I would like to see the faces of those that think you can't fly the stars and stripes on a well lighted flag pole.  People hate this country and what it stands for.  I have never regretted defending this country because of the things I see around me, the men and women that put their lives on the line every day without any thought of loosing their own.  How thoughtless of those that won't respect a persons undying support for GODs country, grace, mercy and fellow man.  The flag is a symbol of those things that they hate the most and they don't like it.  Who are they?  They are the lawless, those who live without any morals, who want the US to become a country of mindless non-self supporting robots.  Sorry, but I have deep feelings for the flag and what it stands for.  I know, they didn't say he couldn't fly it, it just needed to be discreet and not so outstanding."
On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg -- probably didn't make much news back then.

Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near
Carano , Italy , Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the Army in 1940, set out to flank German machine gun positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced through a minefield,
took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war.

If that wasn't enough for a day's work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.
That probably didn't make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a Congressional Medal of Honor.



What did make news last week was a neighborhood association's quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot's 21-foot flagpole were unsuitable.

He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn't take it down. Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells
among them.
"In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference,"  Barfoot told The Associated Press. 
 
As well he should. And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to read his Medal of Honor citation. It indicates he's not real good at backing down.



 Van T. Barfoot's Medal of Honor citation:
  

This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the
National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the
risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano , Italy . With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machine gun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machine gun emplacement, and with his tommy gun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newlycaptured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of point blank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers." 



WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!
Thank you each and every one who is serving and has served.....including my awesome husband.
Peace and Joy,
Susan

Psalm 119:45 (NIV)  I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

11 comments:

Heart2Heart said...

Susan,

I think he serves his country and God well in taking a stand for what he truly believes in. It's time we all begin to do this a little bit more and stop allowing the small minority groups in this country completely rewrite what our country has been founded on.

If more of us stand up, they wouldn't likely push so much of their agendas through and it's time to stop waiting for someone else to do it first. One person can make a difference. It's something we need to remember.

Love your take on Thankful Thursday and think I may just follow suit tomorrow as well.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Mari said...

This is a great post! He is a hero, and it's shameful that in this country, someone would be told to take down the flag.
I just saw something on AOL about some kids who were told not to sing the National Anthem at the Lincoln Memorial. None of it makes sense.
Glad he stood up for his beliefs!

Mildred said...

Thank you for sharing this heart-warming story Susan. My thanks to all who have served and are serving presently, including my maternal grandfather who lost his life in WWII.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a blessing that we live in a free country...and yet we forget that freedom is never free

KrippledWarrior said...

Patriotism is contagious. God bless you and your Hubby and all who serve. May we never forget what has been done for us.

Amy said...

It is so sad to see that patriotism seems to be on the same path heading towards chastisement/censoring as Christianity is these days.

Thank you for sharing this story and for the service of your husband to defend our country that was started on patriotism and Christianity - may people never forget that!

http://worshipwhileiwait.blogspot.com

Cricket said...

Beautiful...Honorable...

Christian Magoncia said...

Wow...I do admire the work of your husband. Only few men were born and possess such kind of dedication towards God and His country!!! Truly honorable...

Btw, I just followed you! Can you add me please?

You can see my entry here:
http://superyan23.blogspot.com/2010/08/east-west-review-lecturers.html

Lisa said...

Thanks for the heart touching story. Every American should stand up for the flag. Our freedon is not free. I saluate every service man or woman who fought and are currently fighting to keep America free. Thank you for the wonderful post. Also, did not realize until now your current state is Illinois. I am originally from Illinois. I lived there all my life, til I moved to Georgia in 1992. It is my desire to go home, next summer. A trip home is long over due.

Candace said...

Beautifully said! Thank you to all that have selflessly served our Country and continue to do so!

SandwichINK Real Estate Info said...

I join with you in giving thanks to God for all the wonderful men and women who have served or are serving and fighting on our behalf, including my sweet dad, and several other beloved relatives and friends.

Re: the homeowner's association mess - that's a prime example of why I totally avoid buying property with an active homeowner's association. In my old town, we had several in the area, and there were often news articles about an association saying no to the color of paint that a homeowner had repainted their house with, no to the garage door being opened so the kids could play, and we even had our own flag story or two. When I rent, I follow the landlord's rules. When I buy a house, I'd prefer to take care of my house by my own preferences, not those of a committee - providing, of course, I do it safely and legally. :)

Thanks for some great "food for thought."