Courage And Uncommon Valor

by Sherry Riter in Lessons of Life,Motivation

You’re a 19-year-old kid. You’re critically wounded and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, November 14th, 1965, LZ X-ray, 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 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.
The unit was almost out of ammunition after taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war, fighting off a relentless attack from a highly motivated, heavily armed enemy force.

Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter and you look up to see an unarmed 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 into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units are perilously holding off the attacking elements and sits there in the machine gun fire as they load two or three of you on board.

Then he flies you up and out, through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses.

And he kept coming back, thirteen more times, and took about thirty of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

Who is this man?

Ed W. “Too Tall” Freeman (November 20, 1927 – August 20, 2008) was a United States Army helicopter pilot who received the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. During the battle, he flew through gunfire numerous times, bringing supplies to a trapped American battalion and flying dozens of wounded soldiers to safety. Freeman was a wingman for Major Bruce Crandall who also received the Medal of Honor for the same missions.

Captain Freeman’s selfless acts of great valor, extraordinary perseverance and intrepidity were far above and beyond the call of duty or mission and set a superb example of leadership and courage for all of his peers. Captain Freeman’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman in Boise, Idaho, USA.

Thank you Mr. Freeman and may you rest in peace.

“Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome
danger, misfortune, fear, injustice,
while continuing to affirm inwardly that life
with all its sorrows is good;
that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding;
and that there is always tomorrow.”
~Dorothy Thompson~

Information obtained from Wikipedia, other historical websites, and an email sent to me.

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This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 aditi July 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

hey fellow SITSta,

My dads in the army and i always well-up reading such of heroic, common men amongst us who just decided to make their lives worthwhile to the nation without any personal motive.. How many can say that about themselves?

Thanks for your visit, i enjoyed your blog. will follow now!


2 Barely Domestic Mama July 8, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Wow, now that is a truly brave man.


3 cgw @ accidentally, kle July 8, 2009 at 2:50 pm

what a lovely post!

by the way – thanks for your comment about my mother 🙂 her hair is actually dyed but she seems to have settled on shades of red lately! she reminded me lately that i was born a redhead – can't quite understand what happened to that, i have rather dark hair now! 🙂

ps yeah, several have told me i look like her – apparently my mannerisms are very much like hers too!!


4 Sharon July 8, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Hello RR! I'm so glad you said hi since that lead me to visit and read this INCREDIBLE post. I can't even imagine such heroism. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I'm currently reading "tales from the South Pacific" the collection of short stories by Michener and this post reminded me of "The Cave" – if you haven't read it, you'll want to!

Thanks again for saying hello.


5 foxy July 8, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Wow… what an incredible individual! And what an inspirational story to read. Where would this world be if we could all be that brave? Thanks for sharing…

And thanks – also – for stopping by my blog! What good, detailed advice you gave on the ant issue. THANK YOU! I plan to start my counter-attack on the ants this weekend…


6 Mammatalk July 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm

What an amazing story!

And, no I don't hate you b/c you have gorgeous feet! Just a little green with envy, but I will get over it!


7 Scrappy Girl July 9, 2009 at 1:07 am

That is a great story of bravery and a true hero. Thanks for popping over to my blog…I am loving SITS and the bloggers I have met so far!


8 Scrappy Girl July 9, 2009 at 1:21 am

I almost forgot you had asked me a question…Archiver's is a scrapbooking store filled with all the best goodies! It is one of my happy places!


9 Keeper of the Skies Wife July 9, 2009 at 2:39 am

That is one amazing man!!

Your comment on my post about coffee grinds cracked me up!! I read a book on home remedies and they talked about the coffee grinds helping reduce/prevent cellulite…so I tried it and fell in love. It truly works!!!


10 bluecottonmemory July 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

That's a real man. Not an everybody loves raymond man, but a real man full of courage and determination to do the right thing. I hope my sons grow up to be men like that!

Thanks for sharing such a noble tribute. I wish they had books like that from 6th grade on up at school that our boys could read to instill values this man had!


11 Beyond All Measure November 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Moving and inspiring.


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