Posted by: notsofancynancy | June 4, 2012

Another Hero has Been Called Home

Mr. Van T. Barfoot has made the journey home and he is now standing in heaven with so many of “The Greatest Generation” who have gone before him. He is not someone I know but someone I wish I had known.

(Visit his “Find a Grave” Memorial here)

It seems as though this Medal of Honor recipient, waged a war with his homeowners association for the right to fly his American flag on a flag pole he erected in his front yard. Now when you tell someone from “The Greatest Generation,” they cannot express their patriotism you have a fight on your hands and Mr. Barfoot was no different. At 5:30 each morning this 92 year old vet got up to raise his flag with honor and in honor of his comrades, each night he respectfully took it down again. Of course when Mr. Barfoot whipped out all the medals he earned during the war, the homeowners association conceded. I have to wonder, now that he is gone will the flag still fly?

(Read his awesome story here)

God bless you Mr. Barfoot and say hi to my dad, as I know he was part of your welcoming party.

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Responses

  1. I remember Mr Barfoot, from his story in our newspaper. He lived outside Richmond, just up the road a couple of hours from me. I respected his fight, and was glad he won it. It shouldn’t have happened anyway. May he rest in peace with all the other brave heroes, including your father and mine.

  2. We well remember his fight to fly our flag. For those who are curious,
    Second Lieutenant Barfoot’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his Thompson Submachine gun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot’s extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.

    • Thank you so much for adding to his story and taking time to honor him with me. (I am never sure how much I can “legally add.” to a post like this.

  3. I’ll bet that the homeowner’s still “see” the flag, even though it’s physical presence isn’t there.

  4. I truly enjoyed this Hero story! My goodness, his brave deeds in Italy are nearly unbelievable — he amazingly shredded the enemy single-handedly. Thank you so much for this tribute to a gutsy soldier!

    • And thank you for taking time to read it, and by posting I know one more person has heard his story!

  5. So honored to live in this man’s country. I shared and I hope everyone reads about him and remembers what our men and women do for us in the armed services. Thank you.

  6. What a nice tribute to Mr. Barefoot, he was a legend for his fight with the homeowner’s association. I remember seeing the story about him and his eventual victory over those who know nothing about the trials of a soldier.

    • Thanks it is men like him that made “The Greatest Generation,” so great!

      • You have such an interesting family, Nancy. It is sad the one has to fight for the right to fly the American flag on one’s own land. A resident of Bridgemill, in Canton, Georgia, also had to fight the homeowner’s association for his right to fly the American Flag. I give thanks every day for all who defended and fought for this great country. Take care, y’all. Tuck the Law Dog & Judy

      • Agreed! Yes my family is interesting wait until Christmas, my brother is Santa Clause!

        Yes is is also sad to see someone of such importance to our freedom to have been shut down maybe the two we know about will have influenced others out there.

        Thank for stopping by!

  7. I followed this story as well, May he rest in peace and continue to raise our flag as our dad’s salute! Tomorrow morning when I raise my flag I will think of this American hero. ~Patty

  8. How very touching! You are so right to acknowledge that the remaining members of that elite Greatest Generation embody the soul of patriotism. I sadly think that when the last of them are with your father and dear Mr. Barfoot there will be very few such patriots to fill their gap! Beautiful post! Debra


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