Douglas Letter - 07/01/09

I am writing to remind your readers of the importance of honoring the passing of American heroes. Recently, Ed Freeman passed.

Freeman didn't invent some new dance, athletic gear, or computer gizmo. I am unaware of any sports accomplishments Ed had.

Freeman and his wingman B. Crandall made medivac/ammo resupply helicopter flights that pulled wounded American soldiers off the bloody battled field called the la Drang Valley, Vietnam, in 1965. Freeman and Crandall defied orders to not fly medivac/ammo resupply flights into that meat grinder because conditions were so perilous. They kept flying because in Freeman's words, "If we didn't those guys were gonna go down." Every time they flew into that battle, they knew their chances of returning to base were low.

In 24 hours Freeman and Crandall made 14 flights through waves of bullets. Their helicopters were so shot up that they had to switch choppers three times. They pulled 47 wounded American soldiers off that battlefield under intense fire. Their flights were briefly depicted in the movie "We Were Soldiers," starring Mel Gibson. Both Freeman and Crandall were awarded The Medal of Honor, America's highest military honor.

Let us pause, if just for a moment, to reflect on the passing of this selfless, extremely brave American hero, Ed Freeman. May he rest in peace.

Matt Douglas