This Story was found on Small Dead Animals Blog
Posted in Comments By commentor Ken (Kulak) .... Well Done K.
Van T. Barfoot died
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
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
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 Barfoot's
21-foot flagpole was "unsuitable". Van 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.
indicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn't particularly good at backing down.
This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of
Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot,157th Infantry,