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Van T. Barfoot “Medal Of Honor”

By Luke Easter



Injustice oh injust, a Medal of Honor recipient put to the test,

Over the flag of a country he served, giving his ultimate best,

Heading east from Carthage in Mississippi, State Route # 16,

After a few miles the sign, Edinburg, you’ll see what I mean.


This quiet unassuming fellow, a little history so you’ll know,

Just in front of his residence, he wanted to put up a flagpole,

Serving in World War II, Korea & a stint in South Viet Nam,

Received our nations, “Medal of Honor” from his Uncle Sam.


With, “Stars & Stripes” in his yard, neighbors had other plans,

Medal of Honor, served in 3 wars, big deal, who gives a damn?

These suburban folks in Virginia, they had rules of their own,

And would not leave this 90 year-old decorated veteran alone.


Born June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot, didn’t mean much then,

However, 25 years later, May 23, 1944, heroics would begin,

German machine gun positions, bullets like rain falling down,

Courageously set out to destroy enemy fire, he circled around.


He advanced through a minefield taking out not 1 or 2 but 3,

Returning with 17 prisoners of war but not the end you see,

As later in the same day, 3 German takes were sent to retake,

The area he earlier secured, can you say, big, big, big mistake?


So, he took on and annihilated those on high like those on low,

Not from a plane, a tank, from the ground, wouldn’t you know,

How dare the army award a Choctaw Indian an award so high,

Why not? Seeing that he was here before settlers thru his tribe.


He was denied a permit yet chose to erect the flagpole anyway,

Facing a day in court, that’s right, the “hero” might have to pay,

Wait a minute are we talking about the Private to Colonel dude?

He helped save this country and his neighbors have an attitude?


Not in one war, one year, one month, one week but in one day,

Technicality, neighborhood association's” rulebook will say,

And what is the biggest thing terribly wrong with this picture?

If it wasn’t for guys like this we’d all be saying, “Heil Hitler!”




Happy ending, because since this story became national news,

Coupled with his age of 90, he was allowed to bend the rules,

So it was media pressure that made the association play along,

No news coverage & they might gotten away with this wrong.



©Luke Easter 2010