I’ve said it a million times before and today makes a million and one: You just never know! Like you, I saw the news blurbs earlier this year about an old man in Virginia who refused to obey his Homeowners Association rule to remove his flagpole and the large American flag flying on it.
Also like you (I hope), I cheered the man. After all, who dares to tell anyone that he can’t fly the American flag, right?
And also like you, I (unfortunately) forgot about the man and his story until our friend, Kevin Stonerock, sent me information that reminded me about the incident…as well as the fact that the man was a Texan.
Van Thomas Barfoot was born in Edinburg, Texas on June 15, 1919. In 1940, the little boy all grown up enlisted in the U.S. Army and on May 23, 1944, the young soldier was in Italy when he set out alone to flank German machine gun positions from which gunfire was raining down on his fellow soldiers.
Barfoot had to make his way through a minefield, and then he proceeded to take out three enemy machine gun positions and then by himself returned with seventeen prisoners. Later he destroyed three German tanks that were sent to retake the machine gun positions, both actions winning him the Congressional Medal of Honor.
And some silly Homeowners Association was going to tell this ninty-year-old TEXAS HERO that he couldn’t fly his flag any way that he pleased?
“In the time I have left,” he said to the Associated Press, “I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference.”
And he did. Van T. Barfoot passed away on March 2, 2012, and how I wish I had taken the time to research his story and then picked up the phone and called him. As I said, you just never know.
*Because photos were sent to me, I have no way to credit them.