Posts Tagged ‘Profiles in Valor’

Profiles of Valor: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta

September 21, 2010

Way to go AIRBORNE!

United States Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will become the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The White House described Giunta’s actions:

Then-Specialist Salvatore A. Giunta distinguished himself by acts of gallantry at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifle team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on October 25, 2007.When an insurgent force ambush split Specialist Giunta’s squad into two groups, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a comrade back to cover. Later, while engaging the enemy and attempting to link up with the rest of his squad, Specialist Giunta noticed two insurgents carrying away a fellow soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other, and provided medical aid to his wounded comrade while the rest of his squad caught up and provided security. His courage and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were integral to his platoon’s ability to defeat an enemy ambush and recover a fellow American paratrooper from enemy hands.

Giunta himself was shot in the chest, though his ballistic vest prevented injury, and another bullet disabled the weapon on his back. Unfortunately, Sgt. John Brennan, the first soldier Giunta saved, did not survive surgery. They were best friends. No date has been set for the award ceremony, but we offer our sincerest thanks for Giunta’s service.


Profiles of Valor: John Finn, 1909-2010

June 6, 2010

With Memorial Day memories still fresh, and the 66th anniversary of D-Day this coming Sunday, it’s certainly worthwhile to spend a few more minutes reflecting on the courage and valor of America’s fighting forces, both past and present. Last Thursday, May 27, the man who was America’s oldest Medal of Honor recipient died at the age of 100 at the Veterans Home of California in Chula Vista. Retired Navy officer John Finn had received America’s highest medal of valor for bravery during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Awakened by the first bombs from the attack, Finn found a .50-caliber machine gun, mounted it on a platform, which gave him no protection, and began firing at the Japanese planes that were on their way to Pearl Harbor. Despite numerous wounds (a bullet wound in his left arm, shrapnel in his chest and stomach, a broken left foot and a laceration on his scalp), he kept reloading and firing for more than two hours, giving heart to his fellow sailors, dazed from being suddenly thrown into a world war. Finn didn’t leave his post for treatment until directly ordered, and even then soon returned to help rearm planes. As with most U.S. warriors, Finn was humble about his exploits, saying he just “did what I was being paid for.”

Finn’s story also shines a light on the current, and possibly scandalous, Medal of Honor situation. As The Patriot Post regularly highlights, there is no shortage of courage and valor among America’s current crop of warriors. Yet, only six Medals of Honor have been awarded for service in Iraq or Afghanistan, a rate of one MoH recipient per one million service members. The rate from WWI through Vietnam was between 23 to 26 recipients per one million. Is a top-heavy military bureaucracy stalling awards, or is the politically correct leftist view of downplaying our military heroes influencing the brass? Regardless, our valiant warriors deserve better. But still they fight.


Profiles of Valor: U.S. Army Col. Robert Howard

February 27, 2010

Ret. Col. Robert Howard was laid to rest Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery. He died Dec. 23 at age 70. Howard served five tours in Vietnam, was wounded 14 times, and was the most decorated soldier from that war, including eight Purple Hearts, four Bronze Stars, four Legion of Merit awards, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Service Cross (twice) and the Medal of Honor — a medal for which he was nominated three times for three separate actions in a 13-month period.

Howard’s Medal of Honor citation reads, “1st Lt. Howard (then SFC.), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam. The platoon … was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader. …

“Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy. For 3 1/2 hours 1st Lt. Howard’s small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely. 1st Lt. Howard’s gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.”

Rest in peace, Colonel.


Profiles of Valor: WWII Vet Louis Stamatakos

February 13, 2010

On Feb. 28, 1945, Louis Stamatakos saved a B17 Flying Fortress crew from sure disaster in the skies over Germany. The 19-year-old from Dayton, Ohio, was trained as a tail gunner and survived 31 missions over Europe with the 8th Air Force, which flew out of England. While bombing railroad yards in Kassel, Germany, on his 23rd mission, two 250-pound bombs failed to drop. One was stuck by a single shackle and the other by both shackles. “Everyone went crazy when they heard that,” Stamatakos said, “and then somebody said, ‘Hey, get the Greek, he’s been going to armament school.’ I took a look and said, ‘Well, maybe I can break them loose.'”

Break them loose he did — with a short-handled fire ax. The wind had spun a small propeller on the nose of one bomb, which armed it and meant one false move would detonate it. At 20,000 feet and 20 below zero, Stamatakos kept swinging until the shackles released both bombs. “That’s back when I was young and dumb,” said Stamatakos. Crewmate Richard Rainoldi, a retired Air Force colonel, said, “If he hadn’t done it, it was either bailing out or blowing up.”

Stamatakos’s three sons were so impressed with their dad’s story that they tracked down Rainoldi, who had been the plane’s navigator, and he gave a sworn statement that was delivered to the Army. On Christmas Eve, 2009, Stamatakos, now a retired Michigan State University professor, received a letter from the Department of the Army saying he would be awarded the Silver Star in a ceremony on Feb. 17 at Michigan’s state capitol in Lansing.


Profiles in Valor: Ed Freeman, and media politics

February 7, 2010

This is stolen from Kieth over at Lighthouse Patriot Journal. Since the Government Controlled media, as Anthony calls it, refuses to tell the tale about this man then we of the not so mainstream have an obligation to do so. Is it political that CNN etc. are not covering this? After all, the media were on the side of the enemy in the Viet Nam War, and they still have their darling the treasonous John Kerry to wax elegant about.

This is a rather long post, but please read it in it’s entirety.

The following email was sent by Joan Bartelson concerning a hero described in the chain email circuit …

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 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.

Myth Blaster Verdict:Truth, except remarks concerning American Media.Ed W. “Too Tall” Freeman was born November 20th 1927 in Neely, Mississippi and died on August 20th 2008. He was a US Army helicopter pilot who received the Medal of Honor for his action during the Battle of Ia Drang in the Vietnam War. Mr. Freeman was a wingman for Major Bruce Crandall who also received the Medal of Honor.Mr. Freeman served in World War II and attained the rank of Master Sergeant by the time the Korean War began. He was in the Corps of Engineers, but fought as an infantry soldier in the Korean War. He fought in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and received a battlefield commission as an officer, which made him eligible to become a pilot, a dream he had since childhood. When he applied for flight school training, he was considered too tall (six foot, four inches) for pilot duty, and thus the reason for his nickname. In 1955, the height limit was raised and Mr. Freeman was accepted to attend flight school. He first trained in fix-wing aircraft and then switched to helicopters. He was an experienced helicopter pilot by the time he was sent to Vietnam in 1965 and became second-in-command as a Captain in Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 16-helicopter unit. Wikipedia (verified):

On November 14th, 1965, Captain Freeman and his unit transported a battalion of American soldiers to the Ia Drang Valley. After returning to base, they learned that the soldiers were under intense fire and taking heavy casualties. Enemy fire around the landing zones was so heavy that the medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly in to the landing zone. Freeman and his commander, Major Bruce Crandall, volunteered to fly their unarmed, lightly armored helicopters in support of the embattled troops. Freeman made a total of fourteen trips to the battlefield, bringing in water and ammunition and taking out wounded soldiers. Freeman was sent home from Vietnam in 1966 and retired from the military the next year. He settled in the Treasure Valley area of Idaho, his wife Barbara’s home state, and continued to work as a pilot. He used his helicopter to fight wildfires, perform animal censuses, and herd wild horses for the Department of the Interior until his retirement in 1991. Freeman’s commanding officer nominated him for the Medal of Honor for his actions at Ia Drang, but not in time to meet a two-year deadline then in place. He was instead awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Medal of Honor nomination was disregarded until 1995, when the two-year deadline was removed.

He was formally presented with the medal on July 16th, 2001 by President George W. Bush. Freeman died on August 20, 2008, due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was buried in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise. In the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, which depicted the Battle of Ia Drang, Freeman was portrayed by Mark McCracken. The post office of Freeman’s hometown of McLain, Mississippi, was renamed the “Major Ed W. Freeman Post Office” in March 2009.

Medal of Honor Citation:

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 Ia 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.[4]

The following entries of the bibliography demonstrate that Major Freeman, US Army retired was afforded plenty of publicity – even at this death, as one of many American heroes of our nation’s history. That part of the chain email was untrue.Some email versions, according to SNOPES, presents the wrong date of death.The email as one can see is a bit outdated and has made the chain email circuit many times, sometimes changed in various ways.The travesty of this story is how long it took for the man to receive his honor as an American hero, the two-year limit rule was ridiculous. In the myriad of paperwork, sometimes thinks get misplaced. My father finally received his additional medals after World War II – twenty years later.Bibliography MOH Recipient Ed Freeman Dies … (August 21st 2008) Idaho Statesman, Military.comMedal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman, 80, dies … Nightly News videoEd Freeman … Snopes Ed Freeman, Medal of Honor Recipient … David Emery, Urban Legends Netlore Archive, About.comRemembering Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman … Truth or FictionEd Freeman … Wikipedia Biography with sources Decades Later, Vietnam War Hero Is Finally Awarded Medal of Honor … Sandra Jontz, Stars and Stripes, July 17th 2001 Bush Presents Congressional Medal of Honor … CNN, July 16th 2001Congress Names Post Office for Valley Medal of Honor Recipient, Idaho Press-Tribune, March 18th 2009


AIRBORNE! Profiles in Valor

September 3, 2009

Hat tip to the pesky one for finding this. Over the years I have been privileged by meeting many Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines that fought in World War Two. Most often while working as a Paramedic, and shuttling them to this or that clinic. To a man, including or even especially those that earned the Medal of Honor, were unassuming and not the least bit  pretentious.

Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, or Spades, the 101st led the way!

We have seen a lot of big splashy memorial services.

I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell “Shifty” Powers.


Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy

Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st

Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the

History Channel , you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10

episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.


I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t

know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having

trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was

at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle,” the symbol of

the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st Airborne

or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the

101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served,

and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so,

and was in until sometime in 1945 .. . . ” at which point my heart


At that point, again, very humbly, he said “I made the 5 training

jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know

where Normandy is?” At this point my heart stopped.

I told him “yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what

D-Day was.” At that point he said “I also made a second jump into

Holland , into Arnhem .” I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . .

and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of


I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France , and he said

“Yes. And it’s real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are

left, and those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.” My heart

was in my throat and I didn’t know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in

Coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to

get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came

forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have

it, that I’d take his in coach.

He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are

still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to

make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it.

And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17, 2009 after fighting cancer.


There was no parade.

No big event in Staples Center .

No wall to wall back to back 24×7 news coverage.

No weeping fans on television.

And that’s not right.

Let’s give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet

way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the


Rest in peace, Shifty.

Chuck Yeager, MajGen. [ret.]

Memorial Day

May 25, 2009

Out of respect for those that have given all in defense of the freedoms and liberty that I enjoy as well as those that defend those things today I will not be posting today, other than this.

Click on the categories Valhalla, and Profiles in Valor on the sidebar.

Molan Labe!

Profiles of valor: U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Montoya

January 30, 2009

During the Battle for Baghdad in April 2003, United States Marine Corps Sgt. Scott Montoya was serving as a Scout Sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, 2d Battalion, 23d Marines, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. At one point, enemy fire had Montoya’s sniper team pinned down, and he directed his team to return fire while he ran into an open roadway to rescue an Iraqi civilian trapped in a vehicle. Montoya spotted a wounded Marine on the same roadway and led him to safety, and then another wounded Marine, and then another, who was unconscious, and then a fourth, all while shooting at the enemy with his free hand. Later, when Montoya was asked how many bullets went by him as he rescued four fellow Marines, he answered, “About 300.” He added, “I saw a hurt Marine and all my training came into play. It wasn’t a cognitive thing; I just saw the situation and cared for my Marines.” For his “extraordinary heroism,” Sgt. Montoya was awarded the U.S. military’s second-highest honor, the Navy Cross.

Well done Marine.

Profiles of valor: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ashley Henderson Huff

November 14, 2008

In October, the Interior Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government honored a fallen American soldier with a statue at the opening of a police college in Erbil. U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ashley Henderson Huff of the 385th MP Battalion, based out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, was honored for her work toward establishing the new academy, which will accommodate up to 650 people. Huff had worked on behalf of Coalition Forces with the Interior Ministry to build the police academy, but she was killed by a suicide car bomber in Mosul in 2006. Interior Minister Sinjari said, “First Lieutenant Ashley Henderson Huff was a woman of courage and determination. We are honored to have worked with her. Her family and colleagues should be proud of what she did for her country and for the people of Iraq in the liberation of our country. Her statue will act not only as a remembrance of her but will also inspire our police cadets to live up to her standards of commitment and professionalism.”

‘Miracle’ Marine dies

May 2, 2008


A Marine sergeant who became a symbol of resilience as he strove to recover from a roadside bomb blast in Iraq that blanketed 97 percent of his body with burns has died, the Defense Department said. He was 22.
‘Miracle’ Marine dies

Sgt. Merlin German died April 11 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he was continuing treatment for the injuries he suffered in combat on Feb. 22, 2005, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The former turret gunner was dubbed the “Miracle Man” for his determination in facing his wounds, which cost the former saxophone player his fingers and rippled his face with scars. He endured more than 40 surgeries, spent 17 months in a hospital and had to learn to walk again.

Meanwhile, he started a charity, Merlin’s Miracles, to aid child burn victims and considered college and a career.

“Sometimes I do think I can’t do it,” he told The Associated Press last year. “Then I think: Why not? I can do whatever I want. … Nobody has ever been 97 percent dead and survived, and lived to walk.”

Born in New York City, German moved to its suburbs as a teenager. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2003, according to his charity’s Web site. He was medically retired four years later, the Defense Department said.

German had been stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the state Capitol’s flags would be flown at half-staff in German’s honor, saying the sergeant’s “courage and unfailing loyalty serve as an inspiration to Americans everywhere.”

Full Story Here:

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