Van Thomas Barfoot (RIP)

From a forwarded email:

Remember the Guy who wouldn’t take the flag pole down on his Virginia property awhile back? You might remember the news story several months ago about a crotchety old man in Virginia who defied his local Homeowners ASSociation, and refused to take down the flag pole on His property along with the large American flag He flew on it.

Now we learn Who that old man was. On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg, Texas. That probably didn’t make News 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, 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.

What did make news was his Neighborhood Association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the HOA rules said it was OK to fly a flag on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Van T. Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole were “unsuitable”.

Van T. Barfoot Had been denied a permit for the pole, but erected it anyway and was facing court action unless he agreed to take it down. Then the HOA story made national TV, and the Neighborhood Association rethought its position and agreed to indulge this aging hero who dwelt among them.

“In the Time I have left”, he said to the Associated Press, “I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference.” As Well he should. And if any of his neighbors had taken a notion to contest him further, they might have done well to read his Medal of Honor citation first. Seems it indicates Mr. Van T. Barfoot wasn’t particularly good at backing down.

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My comment: I bet the ASSociation knew well about his Medal of Honor. Before anyone attacks any Medal of Honor recipient, they should go get a Medal of Honor themselves. Pfft. But ten thousand who are set on dishonoring the most honorable fade into insignificance before such greatness as we have with one Van T. Barfoot. And we have many such great Americans with us today. They are many.

3 Comments

Filed under Military, Patriotism

3 responses to “Van Thomas Barfoot (RIP)

  1. God bless the soul of Van T. Barfoot with the delights of the Heavenly Banquet a hundredfold! And, thank you God for lending this person to our country for his lifetime.

  2. Gina Nakagawa

    I remember this incident. Rest in peace Van Thomas Barfoot. You earned honots for bravery on the battlefield against a powerful and aggressive enemy. You earned honors off the battlefield against petty little minds. God bless you and give you rest in that Place reserved for you from the beginning.

  3. nancyv

    Thank you for reminding us…all it takes is one.

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