I got the following email earlier today from a family member and I don’t want to call that person out in public. Still, it’s worth pointing out how sending out false information (or forwarding it, in this case) in emails (for whatever reason) makes one look less than intelligent.
Text of Original Email (lightly edited to make it more readable):
You’re a 19 year old kid. You’re critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Vietnam .
It’s November 11, 1967. LZ (landing zone) X-ray.
Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the Med Evac 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. You look up to see a Huey coming in. But. . . it doesn’t seem real because no Med Evac markings are on it.
Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you. He’s not Med Evac so it’s not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway. Even after the Med Evacs 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 3 of you at a time on board. Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety.
And, he kept coming back! Thirteen more times until all the wounded were out. No one knew until the mission was over that Captain Freeman had been hit 4 times in the legs and left arm.
He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without Captain Freeman and his Huey.
Medal of Honor winner, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Air Force, died last Wednesday at the age of 70, in Boise, Idaho.
I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing, but we’ve sure seen a whole bunch about Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods and the bickering of Congress over Health Care Reform.
Shame on the American media!
Couple of points for you, regarding Ed “Too Tall” Freeman and the battle described in this email.
1.) The email says he was a US Air Force pilot. He was not. He served as a captain in Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).
2.) The battle described in the email was called the Battle of the Ia Drang. It occurred in November 1965, not 1967.
3.) Too Tall passed in 2008, not “last Wednesday.”
For more real information on Ed “Too Tall” Freeman, read his Wikipedia entry here: Ed Freeman
For more information about the battle itself, read “We Were Soldiers Once. . . And Young Ia Drang-The Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam” by Lt. General Harold G. Moore (Ret) and Joseph L. Galloway
Or see the movie “We Were Soldiers.” Too Tall is in the film.
One other thing, and it’s a point that irritates me whenever I see it in print. One does not “win” the Medal of Honor. One EARNS it. It is not a Medal that is given lightly, but one that is given for true heroics. 99% of the RECIPIENTS of the Congressional Medal of Honor are awarded them posthumously.
They have not won a contest, they performed their duties above and beyond the call of duty, as Captain Freeman did on those days in 1965 in the Ia Drang. (The battle lasted four days, by the way.)
In addition to that, Captain Freeman was the wing-man of Major Bruce P. Crandall who was also awarded the Medal of Honor for flying into an alternate LZ to ferry out the wounded men of 1/7 Cavalry.
If you are going to send out emails entreating others to remember a hero of a past conflict, then YOU OWE IT TO THEIR MEMORY TO GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT. TAKE A FEW MOMENTS AND DO SOME FUCKING RESEARCH.
Otherwise, all you are doing is besmirching the memory of our heroes.