Every once in a while something comes across my desk that deserves to be read and passed on. This posting is one of those things. It still is, even after I checked urbanlegends.com Urban Legends rates this story as true, but there’s a kicker at the end. Here’s the tale:
You’re a 19 year old kid.
You’re critically wounded and dying in
The jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam . . .
It’s November 11, 1967.
LZ (landing zone) X-ray.
Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac 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 half way 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.
You look up to see a Huey coming in. But . . . it doesn’t seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it.
Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you.
He’s not MedEvac, so it’s not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway.
Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to come. He’s coming anyway.
And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load three of you at a time on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety.
And, he kept coming back––thirteen more times–until all the wounded were out. He took twenty-nine of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.
Until the mission was over, no one knew that the Captain had been hit four times in the legs and left arm.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Air Force, died last Wednesday at the age of 70, in Boise, Idaho
May God Bless and Rest His Soul.
I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing, but we’ve sure heard a whole bunch about Lindsay Lohan, Dr. Murray, that sicko Sandusky, and a 72- day sham marriage.
Shame on the media !!!
Now . . . YOU pass this along. Honor this real hero.
OK. Here’s the kicker: Vietnam War hero and Medal of Honor recipient Ed Freeman died at the age of 80 in Boise, Idaho on August 20, 2008. The end of the narrative makes it sound like it happened last week and no one noted his passing. Not so.
The media did not ignore the courageous life and quiet death of retired Army Captain and Medal of Honor recipient Ed W. Freeman, as the partial list of news sources you can reach through this link shows. It may not have made front-page news, but Freeman’s passing on August 20, 2008 was commemorated in a special segment on the NBC Nightly News, an AP national wire story, and obituaries published in newspapers across the country.
In 2001, Captain Freeman received the nation’s highest military honor 36 years after his heroic actions. President George W. Bush commemorated Freeman’s heroism, with a citation which reads as follows:
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, First Cavalry Division Air Mobil (ph).
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 Idrang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The infantry 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 Paceeds (ph) 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 experienced a 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 estimates 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
He was a hero, and he was acknowledged. And I acknowledge him. His courage is awe-inspiring.
But what does this urban legend show? Well, when I first got an email with the initial story, I passed it on to my entire mailing list and sat down to write a scathing idictment of the news media.
“Let’s Occupy the News! Tell our media that we want news worth hearing,” I wrote in the first draft of this post. I wanted to believe the worst of the media, and maybe humanity. What kind of values do we have? I threw in a big dose of ain’t it awful?
How could this travesty occur?
We may have reason to hate the garbage our media feeds in the guise of truth, but in this case, we fed it to ourselves.
I guess the moral is: Watch what you swallow.
Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-one national awards, in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.
Sandy’s books are: (Click link to the left for more information. All links below go to Kindle sale pages.)
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money
Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could
Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice
Two sequels to The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy are in production with a late (very late) 2011 publication date, or early 2012. If you liked The Angel you’ll love Lady Grace and Sam & Emily.Share this: Twitter | StumbleUpon | Facebook | Delicious | digg | reddit