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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Loss Of A Real American Hero

Do we even know what a hero is anymore? I checked the local news and they did their usual dance around what they are feeding us as important. Gene Upshaw died. I remember him as a tough football player for the Oakland Raiders. Where are the Raiders now? The last 25 or so years Upshaw has been a big wig with the NFL players union. Though it's sad whenever anyone dies, I'd hardly consider Mr Upshaw's passing front page news in Baltimore. It was however on all the news channels and in the Sun.

I see Michael Phelp's and his family are home from China, what a show he put on. Anyone would be impressed with his record setting performance, but who cares that his mother went back to work today? They all covered it though, even told the story of his estranged father. I for one truly do not care! Everyone else in Baltimore, Phelp's hometown, must be starved for someone to look up to, he and his mom are all we see!

Ed Freeman passed away. I didn't see anything on the local news, or in the paper. He must not rate up with the swimmers mom going back to work. Mr Upshaw's funeral will probably be in the news days after he is in the ground. Mr Freeman probably is done being in the news, I'm sure his funeral won't be covered in the local news, maybe not even in the national news again. I don't know if Mr Freeman could swim very fast, or if he was much of a pulling guard in football, but he must have been one hell of a chopper pilot! They don't just give The Congressional Medal Of Honor to anyone, now do they?

The passing of Mr Freeman leaves only 101 living MOH winners still living. Mr Freeman was a Captain, U.S. Army, Alpha Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) Viet Nam. Captain Freeman took his unarmed chopper in to resupply stranded soldiers and then flew 14 rescue missions into an area that had been closed and other pilots refused to enter. Countless lives were saved by his bravery, and he was awarded Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism. The fact that these other "heroes" are front page news, and Mr Ed Freeman barely got a mention is the reason why we are making public service announcements for our buses. We put honor at the feet of the wrong people, and I for one shed a tear over it. Thank you Mr Freeman, and the other 101 brave souls.


Slammermike said...


Slammermike said...


for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

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.

awb said...

Now that's someone to look up to!

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading Col. Moore and Joe Galloway's book on the Ia Drang Valley fight, and Captain Freeman's hard-to-believe bravery just made you want to cry. Where do men such as he get that?

awb said...

I couldn't agree more. I watched a PBS show last night about the CMH, moving is not the word that describes it best!