A Man Who’s Story Deserves Telling

The following was forwarded to me from a church friend in a mass email, like we all get. Like all of them it challenged me to forward it to my email contacts. Since I never do that, I thought I’d do one better by posting this incredible man’s story on my blog. It’s short and worth the read. Furthermore, it’s worth sharing. Please post this to your social media sites so this man can be remembered by all of us.

May you

Rest In Peace!

Van T. Barfoot 

died at the age of 92 on 2 March 2012 .

Remember the guy who wouldn’t take the 

flag down?

You might remember a news story several months ago 

about a crotchety old man who defied his homeowners association 

and refused to take down the flagpole on his property 

and the large flag that flew on it. 

Now you can find out who, exactly, that old man was.

On June 15, 1919 , 

Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg , Mississippi 

— probably didn’t make much news back then. 











Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944 , 

near Carano, Italy , Van T. Barfoot, 

who had enlisted in the US Army in 1940, 

set out to flank German machine gun positions 

from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. 






He advanced through a minefield,

took out three enemy machine gun positions 

and returned with 17 prisoners of war.

If that wasn’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 Congressional Medal of Honor.













What did make news…

was a neighborhood association’s quibble 

with how the 90-year-old veteran 

chose to fly the American flag 

outside his suburban Virginia home. 

Seems the rules said a flag could be flown 

on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, 

items such as Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole 

were unsuitable.














He had been denied a permit for the pole, 

erected it anyway and was facing court action 

if he didn’t take it down. 







Since the story made national TV, 

the neighborhood association has rethought its position

and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.



“In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag 

without interference,” Barfoot told The Associated Press


As well he should.


And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they

might want to read his Medal of Honor citation. 

It indicates he’s not real good at backing down.




Van T. Barfoot’s Medal of Honor citation:



This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, 

listed with the National Medal of Honor Society,

is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 

157th Infantry, 45th Infantry