story of U.S. Army Veteran Ed Freeman is true.
He was a veteran not only of Viet Nam,
but of World War II and Korea.
He was the recipient
of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on November 14,
1965, at Landing Zone X-Ray, in the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam.
During the Vietnam War
Freeman served as a helicopter pilot with the rank of Captain in US
Army's Company A, 229th, Assault Helicopter Battalion, First Cavalry
Division Air Mobil.
On November 14th,
1965, a US battalion was surrounded by the enemy. In the heat of
the battle when all hope was lost, an unarmed helicopter came to
their aid, bringing water, much needed supplies and ammunition.
According to survivors of the battle the unarmed Huey returned more than
21 times with supplies, evacuating the wounded each trip. That
day, more than 70 soldiers were flown to safety by Captain Freeman.
Freeman was decorated
with the distinguished Flying Cross for his act of bravery but for
decades those who survived this battle felt that a higher honor should
be awarded to the helicopter pilot. On July 16, 2001, Congress
awarded the Medal of Honor to Freeman with the persuasion of
Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Crandall, other survivors who were rescued by
Freeman, and Senator John McCain. That day, Freeman and his wife,
Barbara, were invited to the Whitehouse where President George W.
Bush presented the Congressional Medal of honor before witnesses
consisting of Vice President Cheney, the secretary of defense,
secretary of veterans affairs, the joint chiefs as well as members of
the Joint Chiefs, Senator John McCain, Senator Craig, Congressman
Otter, and Congressman Simpson from the delegation of Idaho.
On August 20, 2008,
Major Ed Freeman passed away from complications of Parkinson's disease
at the age of 80 and was laid to rest at the Veterans Cemetery in Idaho, where he settled.
In March of 2009, the
United States Congress bestowed one more honor to Major Freeman.
They designated the US Post Office in his place of birth McLain,
Mississippi, the "Major Ed W. Freeman Post Office."
for CNN Transcript of President Bush's presentation of the
Congressional Medal of Honor.
'Ed Freeman... A True Hero'
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 out
numbered 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
1/2 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.
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.
Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman
died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise , ID ......
May God rest his soul.....
(Oh yeah, Paul Newman died that day
too.) I guess you knew that.
He got a lot more press than Ed