Missing from the NEWS....
You're a 19 year old kid, critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, 11-14-1965, LZ Xray, Vietnam. Your
infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry
Commander has ordered the Medi-Vac helicopters to stop coming in. You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns,
and you know you're not getting out. Your family is halfway around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again.
As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it
doesn't seem real, because there are no Medi-Vac markings on it.
Ed (Too Tall) Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun
fire, after the Medi-Vacs were told not to come.
He's coming anyway.
And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board. Then he flies you up and out
through the gunfire, to the waiting Doctors and Nurses.
And, he kept coming back...... 13 more times.... and took over 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.
Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died August 20, 2008 in Boise,ID at the age of 80. May
God rest his soul.....
(Oh yeah, Paul Newman died that day too. I guess you knew that. He got a lot more press than the
Courageous Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman).
There are few true hero's in the world. Many are referred to as such, but few meet the exacting criteria.
Ed Freeman was one such hero for many reasons. As pilot he saved the lives of soldiers in Vietnam who, without his selfless
acts, would have certainly died. Nobody else was there to help them.
He received the Medal of Honor - late because his application missed the statute of limitations which was subsequently changed
by Congress - for the bravery he showed. His actions were depicted in the recent movie "We Were Soldiers." He died last
August and his death missed mention in mainstream media; bailouts and elections were deemed more important.
It is worth remembering that in our breakneck, celebrity-laced world, that real people do great things. Ed Freeman is one such
Freeman's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary
intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division
(Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American
infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The unit was almost out of ammunition after
taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy
force. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman
risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed
ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle's outcome by
providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely
have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense
enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously
wounded soldiers -- some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency
landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the
attacking elements. Captain Freeman's selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above
and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain
Freeman's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect
great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.