Van T. Barfoot died Dec 17, 2014Van T. Barfoot diedRemember the guy who wouldn't takethe flag pole down on his Virginiaproperty a while back?You might remember the news story severalmonths ago about a crotchety old man inVirginia who defied his local HomeownersAssociation, and refused to take down theflag pole on his property along with the largeAmerican flag he flew on it.Now we learn who that old man was.On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born inEdinburg , Texas . That probably didn't makenews back then.
But twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944,near Carano , Italy , that same Van T. Barfoot,who had in 1940 enlisted in the U.S. Army, setout alone to flank German machine gunpositions from which gunfire was rainingdown on his fellow soldiers.His advance took him through a minefield buthaving done so, he proceeded to single-handedlytake 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. What did make news...Was hisNeighborhoodAssociation's quibblewith how the 90-year-oldveteran chose to fly the American flag outsidehis suburban Virginia home. Seems the HOA rulessaid it was OK to fly a flag on a house-mountedbracket, but, for decorum, items such asBarfoot's 21-foot flagpole were "unsuitable". Van Barfoot had been denied a permit forthe pole, but erected it anyway and was facingcourt action unless he agreed to take it down.Then the HOA story made national TV,and the Neighborhood Association rethoughtits position and agreed to indulge thisaging hero who dwelt among them.
"In the time I have left", he said to theAssociated Press, "I plan to continueto fly the American flag without interference."
As well he should.
And if any of his neighbors had taken a notion tocontest him further, they might have done well toread his Medal of Honor citation first. Seems itindicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn't particularlygood at backing down.Van T. Barfoot's Medal of Honor citation:This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with theNational Medal of Honor Society,is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot,157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:If you got this email and didn't pass it on -guess what - you need your butt kickedI sent this to you, because I didn't want MY butt kicked!Do the right thing!
WE ONLY LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE! AND, BECAUSE OF OLD MEN LIKE VAN BARFOOT!