Some of you may recall the saga of CMOH winner (and numerous other medals) Mr. Van Barfoot, recently a citizen of my home state of Virginia. His exploits span three theatres of war and as many continents. Look up courage in the dictionary and I’m sure you’ll find his picture.
Mr. Barfoot took exception to his Home Owners Association’s (HOA)myopic view of putting a flag pole out in front of his house to demonstrate his high esteem in which he held his country. The HOA took offense and threatened to sue after he installed it. Due to much media attention and the inherent bad press you get when you diss our flag, they backed down. That they would even have the gall to limit anyone to displaying it unless it hung on the house shows their disdain for our Country. To show this indifference to a Medal of Honor winner is even more cheeky.
Mr. Barfoot didn’t do anything more extraordinary than what he felt was his job as an infantryman. To wit:
On May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy , Sgt. Van T. Barfoot, who had in 1940 enlisted in the U.S. Army, set out alone to flank German machine gun positions from which gunfire was raining down on his fellow soldiers.
His advance took him through a minefield but having done so, he proceeded to single-handedly take out three enemy machine gun positions, returning with 17 prisoners of war.
And if that weren’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 well deserved Congressional Medal of Honor.
Mr. Barfoot checked out of the hotel on 2 March 2012. He was 92 years old. His flagpole still stands proudly out front- as does mine. Love of one’s country never goes out of style-nor should it.