Here's a story sent to me on the web:
You're a 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. 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 3 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!! 13 more times!! Until all the wounded were out. No one knew until the mission was over that the Captain had been hit 4 times in the legs and left arm. He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Air Force,
died on August 20, 2008 at the age of 70 due to complications from Parkinson's disease. He was buried with full military honors at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise.
May God Bless and Rest His Soul.
I bet you didn't hear about this real hero's passing, but we've sure seen a whole bunch about Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods and the bickering of congress over Health Reform.
I’m also a Vietnam Vet. I flew for the 7/17 Air Cavalry for 9 months in II Corps (the Central Highlands) in 1969. I'm no Ed Freeman--not anywhere near it. But Ed was a member of our Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association here in Washington State and I was proud to have known him.
By far, most of my missions in Vietnam were a walk in the park compared to so many others that flew back into danger to help others left behind. Those that came back returned as different people. Some still suffer today. And America didn’t learn the lessons of Vietnam. Our military is still fighting the longest war in its history, for reasons that we now find to be clouded, in a country with corrupt leaders, where our technology cannot win the hearts and support of the families that struggle for existence. Like Vietnam, the Afghan war cannot be won with bombs and bullets (according to our own generals). Like the Vietnamese, the men, women and children in the middle-east just want peace. So do nearly all Veterans. It’s why we fight and die and come back wounded only to find our jobs are gone and our families and marriages forever scarred. And we commit suicide at an alarming rate. So yes, tell a Veteran “Thanks” but remember him when you go to to polls to vote. Too many of the candidates wanted to cut funding for Veteran hospitals, clinics and counseling. There are lots of ways to support the troops—even if you don’t believe in the current war.