04 May 2010

Chain Mail

Perhaps you have seen this email, or one like it:

You're a 19 year old kid.
You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.
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 MedEvac 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 MedEvac markings are on it.
Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you.
He's not MedEvac 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 MedEvacs 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!! 13 more times!!
Until all the wounded were out. No one knew until the mission was over that the Captain 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 the Captain and his Huey.
Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Air Force,
died last Wednesday at the age of 70, in Boise, Idaho ..
May God Bless and Rest His Soul.
I bet you didn't hear about this
hero's passing, but we've sure seen a whole bunch about Michael
Jackson and Tiger Woods.
Medal of Honor Winner Captain Ed Freeman
Shame on the American media !!!
Now ... YOU pass this along to YOUR
mailing list. Honor this real American.

The problem with this is that MAJOR Ed Freeman, US Army (not Air Force, the USAF disdains helicopters) died in August 2008, long before Jocko Jackson died or Tiger Woods crashed his car.

Major Bruce Crandall and his wingman Captain Ed Freeman flew into that man-made hellhole not 13 times, but at least 21. They brought in ammunition and supplies, and not 29 but more than 70 wounded flew out on Captain Freeman's bird, many who may not have survived otherwise.

Fourteen of those missions, and 30 of those wounded, were flown after MedEvac helos refused to fly. (This is the source of the numbers in the email meme.) He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush in July 2001 for his heroic actions. The post office in his hometown of McLain, MS is named in his honor.

His story was told in the book "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young" by Joe Galloway and LtGen Harold Moore, and captured on film in the movie "We Were Soldiers" starring Mel Gibson as Harold Moore and Greg Kinnear as Major Bruce Crandall.

This email meme serves to downgrade the Major's accomplishments and at the same time uses his death in a manner that does not honor his memory. This one dies with me, it will not be forwarded (not that I forward many of them anyway).

If you see it, let it die with you as well.

1 comment:

Mike Mendez said...

This is true heroism.
Rest in peace gentlemen.