On this day, March 2, 2012, Van T. Barfoot died (aged 92) in Richmond, Virginia .
Van T Barfoot died... But do you remember the...
...Guy who wouldn't take the flag pole down
on his Virginia property a while 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 0ut 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.
It seems the HOA rules said it was
OK to fly a flag on a house-mounted Bracket,
but for decorum, items such as Barfoot's
21-foot flagpole were "unsuitable".
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 Wwll 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...
It seems it indicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn't...
Particularly good at backing down.