Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's Almost Been A Year.....

You’re a 19-year-old kid.

You’re critically wounded and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam.

Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac 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 and you look up to see an unarmed Huey, but it doesn’t seem real because no medivac markings are on it.

It's Ed Freeman and he is coming for you.

He’s not Medi-Vac, so it’s not his job, but he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medivacs 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 2 or 3 of you on board. Then he flies you up and out, through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses.

And he kept coming back, 13 more times, and took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

Ed Freeman died on August 20, 2008, at the age of 80, in Boise, ID.

This afternoon, son Jim and I were working on a truck in the backyard when two blackhawk helicopters flew by. We watched them pass overhead. Jim's daughter Sophie, who is two, started crying and ran to her father.

It made me wonder how children in a war zone feel when helicopters fly over.

Later, I remembered reading about Ed Freeman's death about a year ago and how those young men, who were not far removed from children, felt about helicopters flying overhead.

1 comment:

dirtsister said...

Thanks Jim, I'll read more about Mr. Freeman. A great American hero.