A True Hero you may not have heard of before..
A True American Hero died on September 28, 2008. But you probably didn't hear about it. Actor Paul Newman died that day too. I guess you knew that --
He was a good man too, by all accounts, and he got a lot more press than Ed Freeman.
Here's Ed's story the perspective of an infantryman he saved....
You're an 18 or 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, 11-14-1965. LZ Xray , Vietnam . Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.
You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you're not etting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you' 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, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn't seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.
Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs 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 2 or 3 of you on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.
And, he kept coming back...... 13 more times..... and took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.
At six foot four, he was “too tall” for pilot service until the restriction was waived in 1955 (a nickname that followed him throughout his military career).
In the aftermath of the Ia Drang battle, his commanding officer, wanting to recognize Freeman’s valor, proposed him for the Medal of Honor. But the two-year statute of limitations on these kinds of recommendations had passed, and no action was taken. Congress did away with that statute in 1995, and Freeman was finally awarded the medal by President George W. Bush on July 16, 2001.
Freeman was back at the White House a few months later for the premiere of We Were Soldiers, a 2002 feature film that depicted his role in the Ia Drang battle. As he was filing out of the small White House theater, the president approached him, saluted, and shook his hand. “Good job, Too Tall,” he said.
Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died September 28 at the age of 80, in Boise, ID
God speed Ed