You're a 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, 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 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, 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Ed Freeman, died on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 at the age of 80, in Boise, ID.
May God rest his soul.
Jason, thanks so much for the comments, I agree with you wholeheartedly; however in the interest of full disclosure, I did something I don’t normally do, I took an email, and immediately published it on my blog. I should have “checked the facts” as I tell friends and family all the time when the email me stuff.
The correct date for Ed’s passing was August 20th, 2008; however that being my brother’s birthday, I remember the day, and I do not remember reading or seeing any newscasts about his passing.
More information on Ed Freeman is available at this Wikipedia Page, from what I can see the author did their homework.
I read this post and have been letting it sink in for a little bit. After kicking it around in my head, I went to my bookshelf to see why this story was so familiar: it is discussed in the book “We Were Soldiers Once…and Young”, by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway.
The book was later made into a movie with Mel Gibson.
Ed’s nickname was “Too Tall to Fly”. He was 6’6″, a full six inches too tall by Army regulation to be a pilot. He was a veteran of Pork Chop Hill in Korea, where he earned a battlefield commission. He was a true hero before he ever set foot in Vietnam, where he earned the Medal of Honor. It is an absolute shame his passing was not mentioned in the media.
Thanks for the good post.
More of the same “forgotten Memorial Day” attitude we talked about last weekend, and part of the cause. Don’t worry about Ed, St Peter will salute him, even if NBC didn’t.
The media is profoundly negligent in these matters. But rarely so negligent as they are in ignoring Ed Freeman’s last flight. My respects and heart felt thanks to Ed and his family.
I published this here, because I unfortunately did not see any media coverage regarding this American hero’s passing.