14
Dec
09

War heroes flagpole at odds with neighbors

War heroes flagpole at odds with neighbors

Medal of Honor citation

Van T. Barfoot

Van T. Barfoot

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 tommygunkilled 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.[7]

In December 2009, the homeowners’ association (HOA) of the Sussex Square, where Barfoot lives in Henrico County, Virginia, ordered him to remove the flagpole from which he flies 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. The news story was soon picked up by Fox News and followed by several other national news networks. The HOA retained Coates & Davenport to help enforce their order.[8] The association’s bylaws do not forbid flagpoles, but the HOA ruled Barfoot, aged 90, would not be allowed to use it “for aesthetic reasons”. Barfoot contested the order,[9][10] and received support from politicians such as Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, as well as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.[11] Barfoot won when the association dropped its request on December 8, 2009, effectively ending the controversy.

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2 Responses to “War heroes flagpole at odds with neighbors”


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  2. 07/02/2013 at 01:06

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