Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mark Alexander on Colonel Barfoot

Profiles of Valor: Col. Van Barfoot

This is not the usual profile of valor. This is the story of a highly decorated 90-year-old World War II and Vietnam vet fighting his homeowner’s association to keep his flagpole. Col. Van Barfoot has been awarded more than 20 medals, including three Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Medal of Honor, and is thought to be the most decorated living combat veteran.

Barfoot recently placed a flagpole and U.S. flag outside his home near Richmond, Virginia. The homeowner’s association guidelines don’t expressly forbid flagpoles but say they must be “aesthetically appropriate.” Apparently, that means only short poles on porches. The association issued a statement saying, “This is not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole… We are a neighborhood of patriotic Americans, many of whom have served our country in the military as Col. Barfoot has done…” They might try serving it again by dropping this outrageous request.

Barfoot’s story is also quite a contrast with that of our current commander in chief, who, while at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, refused to be photographed with the F-22 that he fought so hard to cancel.

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