Col Van T. Barfoot

By: Guest Authors

By: John Hampton

This is a story about a real life American hero; a man who gallantly served his country for 34 years. His actions on the battlefields of WWII, Korea and Vietnam were extraordinary! His courage, devotion to duty and selfless attitude has made him a patriot, and a man who deserves our utmost respect and gratitude.

I am talking about Van T. Barfoot, Colonel – United States Army, Retired. Col Barfoot was born in Edinburg MS in June of 1919. He enlisted in the Army in 1940. By May of 1944, then Sergeant Barfoot, found himself and fellow soldiers on a WWII battlefield near Carano Italy. During a period of intense German fire, Sergeant Barfoot took the initiative, and carried out a plan. Acting on his own, Barfoot killed several German soldiers, knocked out three of their machine gun positions, disabled one of their tanks with a bazooka, and took seventeen prisoners. For these actions, Sergeant Barfoot was awarded The Medal of Honor. The official account of his actions is really quite remarkable. Sergeant Barfoot continued to serve through Korea and the Vietnam wars. He retired as a Colonel in 1974.

While living his retirement in Henrico County VA in December 2009, Col Barfoot found himself in a different kind of battle. After erecting a flag pole in his front yard, Col Barfoot was told it was in violation of the rules and the Homeowner′s Association was “disallowing the fixture on aesthetic grounds”. Smaller flag poles attached to the house were acceptable, however free standing flag poles were not permitted. As you can imagine, Medal of Honor recipients don’t take kindly to being told how they can or cannot display the Flag for which they fought so tenaciously. I think all patriotic Americans feel a similar sense of pride in our Flag. I shudder to think there is a movement out there to legislate Patriotism out of the American fabric of life. In this case however, with the support of Senators Warner and Webb (both Virginia Democrats) Col Barfoot was once again victorious, as the Homeowner’s Association dropped its request to remove the flag pole.

Do we need rules and regulations to maintain order and protect citizens? Of course we do. Will there always be that small percentage who takes advantage of the system? Unfortunately yes. But let us not discourage Patriotism and Pride in our Flag. These are values that should be taught to every generation of Americans. These are values that should be encouraged, celebrated and admired. These are values embraced by our Warriors as they battle the enemies of the United States. These values will help us overcome the myriad of problems confounding America and Americans today. We must keep these values alive and healthy if we expect to maintain our freedom. Thank you Col Barfoot and all Veterans past and present, for the work you do and the sacrifices you make, to keep our Nation free!

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