Thursday, December 03, 2009

Let Colonel Barfoot fly his flag

If one of my neighbors was a 90-year old Medal of Honor winner from World War Two and he wanted to put up a flag pole and raise the American flag every day, I'd be out there helping him, not harassing him for "aesthetic reasons."

Sadly that's not the decision that the busybodies on Colonel Van T. Barfoot's homeowner's association made. These people think that the sight of Colonel Barfoot raising and lowering his flag every day violates their sense of "aesthetics." They've ordered Colonel Barfoot to take down his flagpole.

Here's Colonel Barfoot's Medal of Honor Citation:
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 (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun 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 machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun 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 newly captured 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 pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.
What on earth are the people sitting on that Homeowner's Association thinking? Don't they have any idea what a Medal of Honor is? Don't they understand how rare it is to have a living Medal of Honor winner? A lot of Medal of Honor recipients don't survive to receive their medals.

I can't imagine anything more aesthetically pleasing than to have a genuine American hero raising his flag in my neighborhood.

Barfoot is getting a lot of help in his fight. Senator Warner has offered to help and the Richmond law firm of Marchant, Honey & Baldwin has offered to represent the colonel for free. Hopefully the people who sit on the homeowners' association of Sussex Square will recognize their error and allow Colonel Barfoot his flagpole. They can think of it as an early Christmas present.


lincoln65 said...

How far have we slipped as a nation that we are going to deny a MEDAL OF HONOR recipient the pleasure of raising and lowering the AMERICAN flag on a daily basis? That homeowners association should be kissing this HEROS ass on a daily basis for his service! That this has become an issue DISGUSTS me!

lincoln65 said...

How far have we slipped as a nation that we are going to deny a MEDAL OF HONOR recipient the priviledge of raising and lowering the AMERICAN flag daily? That housing association should be kissing this HEROS ass on a daily basis for his service! That this has become an issue DISGUSTS me as an AMERICAN.

J.C. Wilmore said...

Happily it is looking like the HOA may back down soon. They are under tremendous pressure from people who have heard about this story. Both of Virginia's U.S. Senators have weighed in on Barfoot's behalf. The deadline for Barfoot to remove his flagpole has been moved back a week in order to give both sides a cooling off period to consider their options.

I predict that pressure will continue to grow and the HOA will have to back down.

John Ritchie said...

A group of students has just launched a PETITION to support Col. Van Barfoot and his right to fly the American flag with pride and respect.

Please join & spread the word.