The Death of Ed Freeman

We’re always in a patriotic mood here in the bar, and I have been asked to pass on an account of how Ed Freeman earned his Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest award for valor.  Most MOH are awarded posthumously, but Ed lived another forty-four years after earning his, and earn it he did.  You will find the inspiring saga after my signature.

“Into the valley of death rode the 600.”  Ed Freeman flew into the La Drang Valley of death fourteen times in a row to evacuate wounded under enemy fire so intense that the high brass had written the beleaguered outpost off and ordered the Medivac ‘copters to stand down.  It wasn’t Ed’s job to go in but he perceived it to be his duty, and he deserves a shot raised in his memory.  Here’s to you, Ed; you were a true hero and credit to your country.

That couldn’t happen under modern rules of engagement.  The kids are scarcely allowed to shoot back, and in all probability Ed would be reprimanded, charged with disobeying an order he hadn’t been given, and punished for endangering equipment.

It was said long ago that when respect for the old virtues declines, so does the society.  So long as the Romans practiced gravitas, fidelitas, pietas, civilitas, and constanzia and young men served in the Legions out of patriotism, not as a necessary ticket punch to higher political rank, Rome grew and thrived.  When position became all and politics came to count more than character the barbarians took the spoils.

Ed Freeman was most likely a Warrant Officer, but my point is that even junior officers from 1965 have long since retired and today’s political climate is far different.  Our young troops are still capable of being valiant, and they are still learning survival skills passed on since the days of Centurions, but years of political correctness and other Liberal notions are catching up with our nation.  Now we have “soldiers” who volunteered bleating, “I didn’t join up to fight!  I just wanted G I Bill rights.”

Our nation is torn with scandals at all levels of government and Congress and the White House are commanded by those who hate the military.  Many of them were chanting “baby killers” when Ed Freeman “with reckless disregard for his own life” flew in to rescue the wounded a few at a time.  Modern military thought is more obsessed with acceptance of homosexuals and insisting that females are entitled (?) to join the infantry.  Israel has to train its young women to be warriors; the NOW gang is still pursuing a non-existent equality.  Sure, some females are able to keep up with bigger, stronger, fit young men, but their plumbing arrangements are not suitable for life in the field.  They endanger the rest of their squads through their physical limitations.  There are many activities women can fulfill very well, such as fire control, intelligence analysis, radar and sonar operations, and even flying, but we all remember the little truck driver who was captured and raped repeatedly by Iraquis and is never going to be normal emotionally again.  Her behavior was the proximate cause of the capture of herself and her squad mates.

Character and actions have everything to do with success, including in our investments.  We must accept our limitations, exploit our strengths, stand by our principles, and uphold our standards, both those we measure events, ideas, material things, and others humans by, and the banners we fly mentally.

The celebration of Independence Day is here and the fireworks we have been promised include North Korea lobbing a missile at Hawaii to prove they can do it and to spit in the face of our weak president.   Whatever happened to “millions for defense but not one cent for tribute?”  The millions turned into trillions, and the will to defend ourselves has eroded into wishy washy pleas that we all just be friends.

The news is full of the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, but few told us of the passing of a great American.  On the 4th of July please pause to remember Ed and all that once made our country great.  His character and beliefs still live in the hearts of many of us, and telling your children and grandchildren of his heroic actions will be an inspirational few minutes for them.

Again, here’s to you Ed.  You earned your place in Valhalla.

Linda Brady Traynham

July 6, 2009