SALUTE TO OUR SOLDIERS – Feb., 2013

| February 3, 2013

CUP OF JOE FOR A JOE PROGRAM5043_10151182111111750_1448128984_n

Green Bean Coffee offers a program where you can purchase a cup of Joe that will then supply a troop or troops with Green Bean Coffee.  You are also able to send a personal message to the troops and the troops can respond back, if they choose, to your message.  Each $2 donation provides a different service member with a Cup of Joe gift. Once you choose how many troops you’d like to support, you will be able to write your personal message that will be delivered with each of your cup of Joe gifts. You pay by credit card or PayPal. The message you write is delivered to our troops by email and the freshly brewed cups of coffee are served at Green Beans Coffee cafes on the bases where they’re deployed. There is a really interesting video on the Green Bean Coffee website that explains how they got their start.  Visit their website at  https://www.greenbeanscoffee.com/coj/index.php to donate towards this promotion. It’s a great and simple way to says thanks to our troops overseas.

 barfootVAN T. BARFOOT – NOT A LOCAL, BUT A SOLDIER YOU SHOULD KNOW

Remember the guy who wouldn’t take the flag pole down on his Virginia property a while back?  You might remember the news story about an old man in Virginia who defied his  local Homeowners Association, and refused to take down the flagpole on his property along with the large American flag he flew on it.  Now we learn who that old man was.  On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg , Texas . That probably  didn’t make news back then. But twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy , that same Van T. Barfoot, who had in 1940  enlisted in the U.S. Army, set out alone to flank German machine gun positions from which gunfire was raining down on his fellow soldiers.  His advance took him through a minefield but having done so, he proceeded to   single-handedly take out three enemy machine gun positions, returning with 17   prisoners of war. And if that weren’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 well deserved Congressional Medal of Honor.   What did make news…   was his Neighborhood Associatiobarfoot flag picn’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home.   In December 2009, the homeowners’ association (HOA) of the Sussex Square, where Barfoot lived in Henrico County, Virginia, ordered him to remove the 21 foot flagpole from which he   flew the American flag. This news story first became public when Barfoot’s   son-in-law reported the story on local talk radio show, Elliot in the Morning. Fox News and several other national news networks picked up the story. The HOA retained Coates & Davenport to help enforce their order. The association’s bylaws do not forbid flagpoles, but   the HOA ruled Barfoot, then aged 90, would not be allowed to use it “for aesthetic reasons” saying the flagpole was “unsuitable.”  Barfoot contested the order  and received support from politicians, including Virginia   Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, and White House  Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. “In the time I have left,” he said to the Associated Press, “I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference.” Barfoot won when the association dropped its request on December 8, 2009, effectively ending the controversy.  And if any of his neighbors had taken a notion to contest him further, they might have done well to read his Medal of Honor citation first. Seems it indicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn’t particularly good at backing down.

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.

Barfoot was one of the country’s last living Medal of Honor recipients from World War II. He also served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and earned a Purple Heart. He reached the rank of colonel before retiring from the Army. In retirement he lived in Amelia County, Virginia and later, Henrico County, Virginia, near his daughter. On October 9, 2009, the portion of Mississippi Highway 16 which runs from Carthage through his hometown of Edinburg to the border between Leake and Neshoba counties was named the “Van T. Barfoot Medal of Honor Highway

Van T. Barfoot died at the age of 92 on 2 March 2012 after suffering head trauma from a fall.

WE ONLY LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE AND BECAUSE OF OLD MEN LIKE VAN BARFOOT!

 

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Category: Articles, Salute to Soldiers

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