Monday, May 25, 2009

Ed Freeman

I was a boy when the Vietnam War happened. When it was over and the guys came home, some of them were met by the ranks of the self-righteous, who would call them "baby-killers." It was difficult to be appreciated under those conditions.

That was then. What about now?

Recently, the Taliban forces in Afghanistan, who use civilians as human shields, accused the Americans of knowingly killing civilians in the course of retaliating against them. Without taking the time to investigate the contention of enemy forces, both the President (commander-in-chief) and the Secretary of State expressed regret over the incident.

So today, on Memorial Day, we here at mwbh would like to tell a story of one of them, lest anyone in high places encourages us to draw the wrong conclusions -- again.

You're a 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam. Your infantry unit is outnumbered eight to one, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own infantry commander has ordered the Medi-Vac helicopters to stop coming in. You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you're not getting out. Your family is halfway around the world, twelve thousand miles away, and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.

Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn't seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.

Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.

He's coming anyway.

And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load two or three of you on board.

Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the doctors and nurses.

And, he keeps coming back. Thirteen more times. And took about thirty of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

Ed Freeman, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, died this past August, at the age of 80, in Boise, Idaho. Today's message is in his memory, and that of others like him. Ed knew then, what we need to know now. In this world, there are things worth dying for. We need to remember this. Those who govern this Nation need to remember this.

We also want to give a big Tip of the Black Hat to the men and women of ROLLING THUNDER, who came into the Nation's capital on motorcycles from all over the country. They came to party, they came together, they came to remember.

God bless America. HOO-rah.

[Another h/t to "D.W." and thanks to the anonymous correspondent who corrected the information on our hero's passing.]

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