Forgotten Heroes

Vietnam is fast becoming the lost war. Today’s generation is focused solely on the Iraq war and the effort in Afghanistan. There is nothing wrong with that, people should be involved and engaged with those topics affecting them at the time.

Unfortunately, what today’s youth do know about Vietnam is what Hollyweird chooses to perpetrate upon them. Vietnam soldiers were baby-raping, murderous, drug-taking thugs who did nothing more than embarrass the United States.

Movies showing Vietnam soldiers show (mostly) them as crazy men; men haunted by what they saw and did there. Most often the veteran is an alcoholic, down-trodden loser. Even movies like First Blood, Rambo II and Rambo III, where the hero was an obvious good guy, had the hero as a loner, out-of-touch-with-the-real-world sort of man. It depicts him as a killing machine honed by the military for a single purpose.

Given that, it is a refreshing change to see a director make a film that gets to the core of the Vietnam soldier. That core is a scared kid (average age in Vietnam was 19) doing his best to survive under impossible hostilities. Kids who tried their damnedest to keep the guy next to him alive, so that they might return the favor. Each man was most concerned with trying to stay alive long enough to complete his tour and get back to the States.

On Friday May 1st, 2009, I had the pleasure of speaking to conservative film director, Jack Marino about his 1990 project entitled Forgotten Heroes. The film dictates the stuggle of a group of men sent on a tough mission behind enemy lines. Gone are the rape scenes, drug-induced hallucinations, whacked-out crazies bent on total destruction. Gone, even, are the requisite dropping of F-bombs. Not a single one (however unbelievable that may be) is found in the film.

You can hear the interview here and I encourage you to do so. I also encourage you to get a copy of the movie, available through the website. Fully 25% of the proceeds are being returned to a worthwhile military charity, the American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial Fund.

Help out a bastion of truth trying to swim in a sea of illusion. Show the world that there ARE those who remember; those who will not forget the Forgotten Heroes.

The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?

Advertisements

Ed W. ‘Too Tall’ Freeman

 

Here is a name that most people will probably never hear, but because I am dedicated to everyone who has served his country I am putting Ed here for all to gaze upon in wonder (and respect).

This citation, given on July 16, 2001 by President George W. Bush, reads as follows:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Captain Ed W. Freeman, United States Army, distinguished himself by numerous acts of conspicuous gallantry and extraordinary intrepidity on 14 November 1965 while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). As a flight leader and second in command of a 16-helicopter lift unit, he supported a heavily engaged American infantry battalion at Landing Zone X-Ray in the La Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. 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. When the infantry commander closed the helicopter landing zone due to intense direct enemy fire, Captain Freeman risked his own life by flying his unarmed helicopter through a gauntlet of enemy fire time after time, delivering critically needed ammunition, water and medical supplies to the besieged battalion. His flights had a direct impact on the battle’s outcome by providing the engaged units with timely supplies of ammunition critical to their survival, without which they would almost surely have gone down, with much greater loss of life. After medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the area due to intense enemy fire, Captain Freeman flew 14 separate rescue missions, providing life-saving evacuation of an estimated 30 seriously wounded soldiers — some of whom would not have survived had he not acted. All flights were made into a small emergency landing zone within 100 to 200 meters of the defensive perimeter where heavily committed units were perilously holding off the attacking elements. 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.

Ed died on August 20, 2008 from complications relating to Parkinson’s Disease.

If you want to see a reenactment of the Medal of Honor recipient’s incredible heroism, just watch We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson. I get chills during that movie.

For all who have served and who are still serving, keep fighting the good fight. Regardless of how the world tries to spin our efforts, my brothers and sisters in the military continue to have my utmost respect. Stay safe.

The revolution is at hand. Will you be a leader or a follower?