04 Dec

WWII, Korea and Vietnam Vet & Medal of Honor Recipient, Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, Fights Homeowners Group Over US Flagpole

Medal of Honor recipient Col. Van T. Barfoot, 90, lowers the flag outside his home in the Sussex Square subdivision in western Henrico County, Va., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009. According to the subdivision’s homeowner association’s board, Col. Barfoot is in violation because he flies the flag from a flagpole instead of a pole attached to his porch or doorway. Col. Barfoot has been ordered to remove the pole by 5pm on Friday or face legal action. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Eva Russo)

You don’t ever want to mess with a Medal of Honor recipient. They’ve done better things in their life than you ever will with your pitiful existence.
This is especially true if you’re a puny little homeowner’s association who wants to take away a hero’s flag.
Col. Van T. Barfoot, 90, of Henrico County, Va., who received the Medal of Honor for his amazingly heroic actions in World War II, raises and lowers the flag from a flagpole outside his house every day. His Homeowners Association wants him to cut it out, reports the Times Dispatch. They argue that the war hero’s flag pole violates the aesthetic rules of the association.
So they’ve sicced the lawyers on him, telling him that he must take the pole down or risk heavy fines. Ooooh! Men in suits! Ooooh! “Aesthetic” rules! He trembles.
From the citation that accompanied his Medal of Honor:
“With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17.”
And that’s just from the morning. So those lawyers who want to take away his flagpole? They’re no match.
That’s especially true with the high-powered allies he now has on his side. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is looking to help break the impasse. Other members of the public have rallied to his cause — including the ubiquitous Facebook group.
Who’s going to win this battle? The puny little HOA or the war hero who, even at age 90, could still disembowel you with a golf pencil — the man with more courage in his big toe than the sum total of any of us pansies reading this. I know where my money’s going.

An additional story about this with a lilttle more information:
WWII vet fights homeowners group over Va. flagpole
One of the nation’s oldest Medal of Honor winners was back in the fight Thursday, this time against a neighborhood association that wants him to take down a front-yard flagpole.
Supporters, including a U.S. senator, have been falling in behind 90-year-old retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, a World War II veteran awarded the lofty Congressional honor for actions including standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.

Barfoot put up the 21-foot flagpole in September in front of his suburban Richmond home. He raises the American flag daily at sunrise and retires it at sunset.

“It’s really ridiculous to want to keep the flag from being flown,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’ve heard some terrible excuses out there.”

The Sussex Square homeowners’ association says the flagpole violates the neighborhood’s aesthetic guidelines and ordered him to remove it by 5 p.m. Friday or face a lawsuit. The group has said Barfoot can display the flag, as long as it’s in a way that conforms with association rules, such as from a pole mounted on the front of the house.

“This is not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole,” the association said in a statement.

Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., is among those offering to help break the impasse, Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said. Warner and the war hero became acquainted at veterans’ events when Warner was Virginia’s governor from 2002-06. Others are backing Barfoot on the Internet, including with a Facebook page.
Barfoot won the Medal of Honor for actions while his platoon was under German assault near Carano, Italy, in May 1944. The award citation says Barfoot, then a 2nd lieutenant, crept up alone on German machine gun nests, killing and capturing enemy troops in three of them, stopped their three-tank advance and helped two seriously wounded comrades back to safety.
He also won the Purple Heart and other decorations, and served in Korea and Vietnam before retiring from the service in 1974. The Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center, a state nursing home for military retirees in Richmond, bears his name.
Barfoot’s daughter, Margaret Nicholls, said her father has been moved to tears by the outpouring of support, and hopes the nine-member homeowners’ board will use its discretion and let him keep the pole.

“A house-mounted pole? That is not an option,” Nicholls said. “The flagpole is definitely what he’s fighting for.”

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 23 May 1944.
Entered service at: Carthage, Miss.
Birth: Edinburg, Miss.
G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machine gun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans.

He continued along the German defense line to another machine gun emplacement, and with his tommy gun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machine gun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17.

Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks.

From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank,effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommy gun He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot’s extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.


Wild Thing’s comment…….
This really ticks me the heck off!!!
I know there are rules but I see nothing wrong with a Flag pole. How can that hurt anything. Our wonderful American flag flying from a flag pole is a beautiful site to behold. I hope Col. Barfoot wins and gets to have his flag pole.

……Thank you RAC for sending this to me.
RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company
13th Combat Aviation Battalion – 1st Aviation Brigade – Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam

Willy says:

Homeowner association board membership gives frustrated little people a chance to play part-time Nazi. Total conformity is the goal. Like the union at a closed shop,you have no choice about joining these HOAs if you live in the complex. Moving into one of these places is a form of Serfdom-you relinquish your rights in exchange for having your yard mowed and hoping you will never have to see pickup trucks or hear motorcycles. The usual justification is that if we allow this to pass than “what will they try next”. If you polled HOA/condo associatiom board members, you would probably find that they vote liberal 90+ % of the time. These types fantasize about running for real political office but know that even the like-minded would never vote for them. They tend to be current or retired government employees and confirmed spinsters.At age 90,this War Hero once again has to go to war with people whose thinking is not fundementally unlike the thinking of those he fought before. Perhaps there needs to be a legal defense fund for this war Hero so he can counter-sue the ‘Homeowners Association” at every turn and DRIVE IT INTO BANKRUPTCY.

Lynn says:

I will never purchase a home with a homeowners association for just that reason. They are mean, spiteful people who enjoy telling others where to get off and why they can and can’t do something. Let him have his flagpole! He earned it so you can sit in your damned Ivory Tower and make ill conceived laws that are a joke.

jan says:

“..part-time Nazi…. Like the union…”…You are so right, Willie. Here in NE OH the state passed legislation (HB#278) for independent drillers to overide municipality ordinances which allows them pretty much to drill and drill and drill anywhere they want regardless that we chose to live in this area due to its park-like setting, etc. and as well pay the commensurate taxes for this residential life. These drillers have carte-blanche and are profit-making entities, yet drill on land not zoned for business. It is not right. Anyway, a homeowner’s assn. close by was never contacted by its Pres. that he signed off for a well. Oh my!! Not much can be done now!The damage is done. I am not sure if a civil suit is going forward or any update, but this business of homeowners assn’s, and separately, these drillers have pitted neighbor against neighbor. Sorry, just had to rant. We got stuck with a well by us. We were served papers to report to the State Capital when we refused to sign – it was not pretty. Too much power with the Dept of Natural Resources, money in drillers pockets at our expense.

Jack says:

Hmmn, like yard sales maybe the good Col. Van T. Barfoot’s neighborhood needs a good fire sale, but that would be too easy, Willy has the right approach. Make them abide by their ludicrous rules and break them under the law.
There are a few in my area, one didn’t allow pickup trucks on the street, whined if they were in the drive way. The had their resident unemployed ‘narc’ who spent all his time snitching, he finally set up a coffee roasting and milling operation in his garage, the home owners let him get fully established and locked in debt before they retaliated, he had his business license revoked for being in a residential area, he had to relocate from the home to a rental space and lost his Butt. He finally had to move out of the hood. Today you can drive through and see pickups and boats parked by the curb, but it took over 10 years.

TomR says:

I am about to move into a house with a HOA. I know the secretary and she tells me it is almost a non entity, $100 a year membership used to maintain a few small common planted and green areas.
Having lived in apartments for many years I will be glad to escape all the rules and restrictions of that situation. I will be able to grill on my patio again.
Mr Barfoot should be allowed to fly his flag from it’s pole. To me it would be a neighborhood enhancement. Of course, I’m not a liberal. Just a patriot. Now if it was a Saudi flag or a Mexican flag I would raise hell.

BobF says:

You would think that HOA would be honored to have a recipient of the Medal of Honor living in their neighborhood.

Ron Russell says:

I’ve seen this article on a number of post. This guy is a great American and the rules should be suspended so this old-timer can fly his flag as he sees fit—he has earned that right. Wild Thing–his flag will fly in the hearts of all true partriots and I suspect at his new home.

Mark says:

It seems to me they have too many restrictions for me anyway. My sister lives in one and they have a bunch of restrictive rules on almost anything.
But a flagpole to fly the American flag is offensive ? Where the hell are we living anyway. This egalitarian Bullshit has got to go I want the Republic back.

Wild Thing says:

Tom, where we live we have a HOA. All the board
are Veterans and many if the rest of the home
owners are also Veterans. There are good HOA and bad ones. The Flag pole was my first question
when we decided to check out buying our home.
HOA can be a good thing, it protects the area
we live with security and I like that too.
What is happening to is terrible and no HOA should
have a rule of not allowing a Flag pole to fly
our American Flag. I sure hope he wins this.

Wild Thing says:

Thank you everyone.

An ex-wife, (the Bitch from the Bronx), wanted me to buy a home in a subdivision with covenants. According to them, my brand new Ford pickup with magnetic signs on the doors would be prohibited from residing at my place because it was commercial. There were, as I recall, also limits on flag type and size. Just one more reason to love the country life. Real country life, on an actual farm, not the “quaint, rustic, country setting type subdivision”.
I feel for him and wish him the best, but he put himself in that position when he moved in or allowed the HOA to make this rule.
Along I-65 in Alabama, there is a huge Confederate Battle flag. Pisses people off all over the place; but it is owned by one man and is on his private property. What the critics don’t get is that the US Flag, (and its meaning), protect the flying of the legal Confederate Flag.
In Mr. Barfoot’s case, the subdivision is covering their asses by not protesting his flag, just his tall flagpole. I see it all as a crock of feces, but they do have their accepted rules on their side.
“Never Forget Ft. Hood Texas 11/5/09!”

larrypegut says:

I guess if Iwo Jima had a HOA we would not have had flag raising there.GOD BLESS AMERICA and Col.Barfoot