Ed Freeman, Medal of Honor Recipient

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Army uniform with medals and badges
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Description: Viral text
Circulating since: Sep. 2008
Status: True (details below)

Circulating online, a tribute to Vietnam War hero and Medal of Honor recipient Ed Freeman, who died at the age of 80 in Boise, Idaho on August 20, 2008.

Email contributed by Dennis B., April 3, 2009:

Ed Freeman
You're an 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 1/2 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 un-armed Huey, but it doesn't seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.
Ed Freeman 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 Medi-Vacs 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.
Medal of Honor Recipient , Ed Freeman , died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise , ID ......May God rest his soul.....
I bet you didn't hear about this hero's passing, but we sure were told a whole bunch about some Hip-Hop Coward beating the crap out of his "girlfriend"
Medal of Honor Winner Ed Freeman!
Shame on the American Media

Analysis: From the closing sentences above, one could come away with the impression that the courageous life and quiet death of retired Army captain and Medal of Honor recipient Ed W. Freeman had gone completely unacknowledged by the mainstream media. Not so, as the partial list of news sources further down this page shows. It may not have made front-page news, but Freeman's passing on Aug. 20, 2008 was commemorated in a special segment on the NBC Nightly News, an AP national wire story, and obituaries published in newspapers across the country.

As stated in the email, in 2001 Freeman was awarded the nation's highest military honor some 36 years after the fact for his heroic actions as a Vietnam War helicopter pilot on Nov. 14, 1965. He was presented with a citation by President George W. Bush which read as follows:

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, First Cavalry Division Air Mobil (ph).
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 Ia Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. The infantry 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 Paceeds (ph) 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 experienced a 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 estimates 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.

Sources and further reading:

Congress Names Post Office for Valley Medal of Honor Recipient
Idaho Press-Tribune, 18 March 2009

Medal of Honor Veteran Dies in Idaho
Associated Press, 20 August 2008

A 'Best Pilot' Takes His Last Flight
Sunday Gazette-Mail, 24 August 2008

Boise Medal of Honor Recipient Passes Away
KTVB-TV News, 20 August 2008

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman, 80, Dies
NBC Nightly News, 21 August 2008

Flags Flown at Half-Mast for Freeman
Mountain Home News, 22 August 2008

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman Dies
KBCI-TV News, 20 August 2008

Bush Presents Congressional Medal of Honor to Ed Freeman
CNN transcript, 16 July 2001

Recognition for One of America's Best
Anniston Star, 17 February 2007