News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

September 17, 2013

RONN MOTT: Heroes

There’s been information floating around the internet for about five years on a real, American patriot. His name was Ed Freeman. He quit high school before graduation to join the United States Navy and served two years before WWII ended. He then went back to high school to graduate and shortly thereafter joined the United States Army just in time to get into the Korean War. He was interested in flying but could not because he was deemed too tall. And it would be some years before the Army changed its requirements.

Ed Freeman became a pilot and flew fixed wing aircraft for the Army but soon switched to helicopters. It did, however, get him a nickname: Ed “Too Tall” Freeman would rise to the rank of Major. All you have read is only part of the story.

“Too Tall” Freeman was awarded the highest medal you can achieve in any of America’s armed forces. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor. And, if you have forgotten, the Medal of Honor is awarded only to those who have gone far and above the call of duty. And just to show that is not just some kind of fluke, Ed “Too Tall” Freeman also won the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with Combat V, a Purple Heart, an Air Medal with three silver oak leaf clusters and one bronze oak leaf cluster.

The real story is Ia Drang, a fire base surrounded by the Viet Cong. They were taking immense fire and many were wounded. One soldier lay near death and probably would have died if he could not be airlifted out to a hospital. The Med Vac units were called off because the fire was too intense and many of the choppers would be lost and the pilots lost as well. Ed Freeman was not a Med Vac pilot. He was flying a Huey lightly armed and he was about to put himself in harm’s way on his own initiative.  

He went in to airlift the wounded soldier and, ultimately, saved his life. But that’s not the end of it. This 6’4” tall pilot, a member of the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, First Cav., decided to go back in and get other people out and carry in with him ammunition, water, medical supplies, and just about anything else he could carry in his Huey the men on the ground needed.  

Freeman would not do this just one or two times, but he braved withering fire 13 more times. He did all of this while being wounded himself. His commanding officer would get around to putting him in for the Medal of Honor, but it would not work.

A typical military snafu … you had to recommend someone for a Medal of Honor in a two-year time frame. The recommendation was put in too late and “Too Tall” Freeman did not receive it when he should have. It would be some time later when he was given the Medal by President George W. Bush. Quite a lengthy period after the Vietnam War was finished.

Ed W. Freeman would stay in the United States Army from 1946 to 1967. He would rise through the ranks and, ultimately, become a major. Total service time of 22 years.

I believe there are many other men we don’t know of, and maybe never heard of, who are the real patriots in these United States … men who do not seek  awards but get them through their actions … men who do not seek fame because of their actions, but do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Major Freeman died of Parkinson’s disease in Idaho. He is interred at the Idaho State Veteran’s Cemetery in Boise. Ed Freeman was truly a patriot. He did not call himself a patriot for political gain or fame, but by doing exceptional work above and beyond the call of duty, he became a patriot and was awarded the nation’s highest military honor.

We write about this true hero so you’ll know the difference between what is real and what is not.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion Columns
  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Disc Jockeys

    I know this is going to sound a little like “sour grapes,” but it is not. I just passed my 61st anniversary of being involved in radio. I also spent some television time in Canada and did a local TV talk show. But, my main effort was in the good old USA in various radio markets.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: Colonoscopy No. 5

    I just finished up my fifth colonoscopy last week. It had been seven years since my last one, and since my father and grandfather died of colon cancer I find it advisable to go through this procedure in attempting to live as long as I can.

    July 29, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Next century? Hope strikes out again for ‘our’ team

    It is a case of hope trumping experience that my Best Friend and I looked forward to the 2014 baseball season.

    July 28, 2014

  • baseballandnewspaper.jpg MARK BENNETT: Hall of Memories: Names, images of baseball greats trigger connections to our own past

    Baseball Hall of Famers are just people. Totally human. Still, for Americans who follow the national pastime, those players represent a nostalgic connection to summers gone by.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: The Czar of Russia

    If you are expecting Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Republic, to react to the crisis in the Ukraine as an ordinary elected official, think again. Even though Putin is the President of the Russian Republic, this is not the job he wants. Putin also doesn’t want to be the chairman of a newly resurrected Communist Party in Russia. No, what he wants is to be the czar of a greater Russia.

    July 24, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Dragonfly

    The other morning I was moving the canister that holds our recycling material out to the curb when I saw a strange sight. What I saw was a dragonfly fighting with a bee.

    July 22, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Chickens as pets always turned out same way

    I suppose many of us who grew up on farms or in small towns adopted unusual pets. I had a fondness for chickens. My folks always kept a few chickens, not only to fry or roast, but also for the eggs.

    July 21, 2014

  • LovellEdwards.JPG MARK BENNETT: Former Terre Hautean Jim Lovell stood ready as Neil Armstrong’s backup on Apollo 11

    The words “Apollo 11” stir optimism in me.
    I was an elementary school kid growing up in Vigo County when Neil Armstrong put the first footprint on the moon on July 20, 1969. So much seemed possible

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos 4 Stories

  • RONN MOTT: World Cup over, but it was fun

    After many weeks and many games, the World Cup is over. While the world calls it “futbol,” only we in North America play another brand of football. It is very simple to understand why this is the world’s favorite game … all it takes is an empty lot, a round soccer ball, and you can get a futbol game together.

    July 18, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Presidential Ambush

    No wild-west ambush, either real or fiction, has been as successful as the ambush on President Barack Obama.

    July 17, 2014

  • MET071614band.jpg MARK BENNETT: Are you ready for some oom-pah along the banks of the Wabash?

    Any time I hear Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly,” the sound transports me to 1973, when that classic song bubbled from my parents’ car radio on the drive to Sheridan Park for my youth football games.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: Collett Park

    Saturday at the Park, Collett Park, another beautiful wedding was held. They looked so nice in the warm weather with the Gazebo acting as church sanctuary, I would almost be tempted myself to do it again, and do it outdoors at the Park. No, no, no, not again, even as pretty as it is in the Park on a nice July Saturday.

    July 15, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Lots we did not have in those good ol’ days

    In my thankful moments, I’m glad I was not my grandmother’s daughter. I would miss the modern conveniences.

    July 14, 2014

  • wefight.jpg MARK BENNETT: Filmmaker captures late uncle’s walk through illness and into ‘whatever is next’

    Paul Fleschner sensed a remarkable strength as he filmed his beloved uncle one final time.

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • RONN MOTT: Troubled history in that place called Iraq

    People are dying, again, in Iraq. And, again, people other than Iraqis will ultimately make the decision about what happens to this ancient land.

    July 11, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: That Old Man River

    I was surprised to learn the people in Cairo are now taking water taxis to avoid the traffic, the confusion and the dangers that are appearing on Cairo, Egypt’s, streets. I mean, I was surprised the people in Cairo, these native Egyptians, were surprised they could take a water taxi and get to where they wanted to go using the Nile River as a highway. So, for the Egyptians living in Cairo, everything old is brand new again.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: Black Dog

    We had some excitement around our house the other day and it was not the good kind.
    There was a small dog, black in color with a spiked collar on his neck, and he was the spitting image of a small Doberman. I don’t know if they have miniature Dobermans but this dog could have been a mixed breed that came out looking like a Doberman although smaller.

    July 8, 2014

  • MS. TAKES: Great music is made during all generations

    Number Two son tells us that his 20-year-old son has been listening to “Big Band” music with apparent enjoyment. As if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, I was talking with a young girl, barely out of her teens and she told us that she really wasn’t into rap. She said, “It isn’t really music, it’s just talk.”

    July 7, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Learning more about Jefferson

    During this Fourth of July weekend, I’ll be reading John Meacham’s biography of Thomas Jefferson.

    July 4, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: The Men Who Made the Country

    The Fourth of July is the day we celebrate our independence from Great Britain. It reminds me of something David Ben-Gurion would say, at a much later date, about British rule: “If you have to have a master, the British are about as good at it as anybody.” Of course, we really don’t need a master.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Cats

    Looking at the situation as a whole, the adopted cats, plus one, seem to be doing OK. The boys, Magic and Mellow, like to roam occasionally, which causes some consternation when they are gone for a long time.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Oldtime fans will never give up on the Cubbies

    My Best Friend claims to be the world’s oldest living Cubs fan. I am willing to take him at his word, but surely there is some long-lived fan out there in the right field bleachers who would dispute his claim.

    June 30, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: These are tough times to be an opossum

    Who killed the opossum before man and the automobile? The automobile and mankind have started an evolutionary run on how the opossum continues his bloodline.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • RONN MOTT: These are tough times to be an opossum

    Who killed the opossum before man and the automobile? The automobile and mankind have started an evolutionary run on how the opossum continues his bloodline.

    June 27, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Teamwork

    Teamwork. You remember the drill. In the movie “Hoosiers,” the coach demanded four passes before anything else happened on the court. The idea of teamwork is you work toward a victory by making sure your self-interest doesn’t come before the team.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: World Cup

    I remember in junior high school, in physical education class, we were told to meet outside. The track and baseball diamond were in back of the school. We were met with a small, dimpled ball and the teacher told us it was soccer. It is played all over the world and you can use your head, your body and your feet, but not your hands. I decided then it was not a game for me.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • MS. TAKES: Words no one wants to hear: ‘At your age’

    The other evening, a friend limped into the dining room. Judging from the grimace, she was in some degree of pain, so I asked if she had fallen.

    June 23, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Great effort brings rewards

    I want to tip my hat to young David Fuson who has become the spokesperson for the family business.

    June 20, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Iraq, again

    Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, lifted into Heaven on a rock, on a hill, in Jerusalem. The binding of military might and strategies, and a religion that was meant for everyone, began to fall apart at that time in history.

    June 19, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: The Stanley Cup

    I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a proud American who wants to see the USA win just about everything — except the Stanley Cup.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Raw: Deadly Taiwan Gas Leak Explosion Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity