Retired Army Colonel Van Barfoot is one of only five native Americans to have been awarded the Medal of Honor, which he received for destroying three German machine gun positions, one tank and one artillery tube during the Anzio breakout. For that alone his name ought to have been famous, taught in history books, an example to the rising generation of the heroism and sacrifices made by those who came before them to secure their freedoms.
Instead Col. Van Barfoot got famous because he chose to fly the American flag on his doorstep, having moved “in” from the country:
In 2009, Col. Barfoot made headlines after he erected a 21-foot flagpole at his Sussex Square residence without the permission of his homeowners association. The association, which allowed flags to be flown on angled poles attached to houses, ordered it removed and threatened legal action when he refused.
The ensuing furor drew the support of two senators, a former Virginia governor, other leaders and veterans before the association backed down.
Col. Barfoot passed into the clearing at the end of the path last Friday.
Hail, soldier. And farewell.
Bonus: Read the linked Richmond Times-Dispatch article above. Now read this NYT version of the story.
Compare and contrast.