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View Full Version : Vet, 90 Fighting for Flagpole, Will you make 1 min call to help?



KarinTimour
12-02-2009, 11:56 PM
Col. Barfoot is a Medal of Honor recipient who needs your help to save his flag pole. His home owner's association is threatening him with legal action if he doesn't remove it.

He has served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He also holds a Purple Heart and several other decorations. Here's his Medal of Honor citation: http://www.45thdivision.org/Veterans...r.htm#_Barfoot

McGuire Veterans' Hospital has named a building after him, and his native Mississippi has named part of a highway after him.

For 36 years he has flown the flag in his yard every day. In September he moved to Henrico County, erected the flag pole at his new home and continued hoisting the flag every morning and retiring it every evening. The Homeowner's Association says if he doesn't remove it by this Friday at 5 PM, they will start legal action against him. He can't even get them on the phone to try and work out a compromise.

Will you stand by and let them?

In an Associated Press story his daughter said "Emotional torture is what they've done to my father," said his daughter, Margaret Nicholls. "He has lost sleep, he worries about it constantly. He just doesn't understand. He thinks that if it's on his property they can't tell him what to do."

Here's a link to the larger story: http://hamptonroads.com/2009/12/90ye...keep-flag-pole

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
With just a little bit of effort on every reader's part, we can turn this situation around.

Col Barfoot has been given a deadline of Friday to remove the flagpole, so we've got to work today and tomorrow to turn this situation around.

Doing a search on the internet for more information on the Sussex Square Homeowner's Association I wasn't able to pin down any clear contact person but the attorney's contact information. DON'T CALL THE ATTORNEY, it's a waste of effort. Attorney's offices have angry people on the phone or sending email every day, all day. That is what they are paid to deal with. They don't give a rat's patoot whether we're upset about this, they'll have jobs and sleep well no matter what we say.

To get action on this, we need to make noise to someone who is elected, local and who wants to stay elected. Someone who cares what the public thinks of him/her and their office. And who is in a position to potentially make a few phone calls and talk some sense into the Sussex Square Homeowner's Association.

This development is in western Henrico Co., Virginia. Henrico County is governed by a Board of Supervisors, and the leader of the Board of Supervisors is Mr. Virgil R. Hazelett, County Manager.


Do at least one of the following -- every little bit helps.

Here's what to do:

1. CALL Mr. Hazelett's office at least once a day until you hear this has been resolved in Col. Barfoot's favor. (804-501-4206).

Leave a message of any length about why this patriot and veteran should be allowed to fly the flag. You can be passionate, but don't be abusive. We're out to make a point as rational, caring Americans that if a 90 year old veteran wants to fly the flag that he served, we're in favor. If you are serving military, a veteran or a family member of a veteran be sure to mention that.

2. FAX Mr. Hazelett's office (Fax: 804-501-5361)

Faxes count more heavily to elected officials than emails. You can print out your email and just fax that over and over again. Volume counts, we've got limited time to make a point. Fax more than once, even if you send the same fax a second time.

3. EMAIL Mr. Hazelett's office (manager@co.henrico.va.us)

4. Send a copy of what you faxed/emailed to the Richmond Times-Dispatch (804-649-6990 or news@timesdispatch.com).

Let the editor know that his reporter's story was read and is having an impact. They are already promising a follow-up story tomorrow. Keep up the pressure!

5. Get other people to do steps 1-6. Any Mississippians reading this? Anyone know someone at McGuire Veteran's Hospital? Tell friends at work, in your unit, your American Legion or Vietnam Veterans chapter. Tell some Gold Star mothers. Get your family and friends to add their voices to ours.

6. Post on this thread what you did and any response you got.

REFUSE TO STAND IDLY BY.

EXERCISE THE FREEDOMS THAT COL. BARFOOT PROTECTED FOR US.

EVERYONE CAN MAKE AT LEAST ONE PHONE CALL and get at least ONE other person to call.

WE CAN WIN!

Sincerely,
Karin Timour

Radar
12-03-2009, 06:09 AM
@0610 today, 3 Dec 09

Jeffrey Cohen
12-03-2009, 07:06 AM
BARFOOT, VAN T.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Carano, Italy, 23 May 1944. Entered service at: Carthage, Miss. Birth: Edinburg, Miss. G.O. No.: 79, 4 October 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.

sbl
12-03-2009, 07:33 AM
Another link to the story....

http://www.wtvr.com/news/wtvr-veteran-flagpole,0,2550197.story


"Meanwhile, the Sussex Square Homeowner's Association issued a statement saying in part, "This is not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole... We are a neighborhood of patriotic Americans, many of whom have served our country in the military as Col. Barfoot has done.."

The homeowner's association also says Barfoot knew from the beginning that he wasn't supposed to have a flagpole without permission."

flattop32355
12-03-2009, 08:33 AM
Without knowing the particulars of the home owners association's rules (other than flagpoles are not specifically banned), it's hard to say who and to what extent any given party is to share the blame for this situation.

That said, I find that any number of such and similar organizations have a tendency to become overly rigid in their (often personal) interpretation of rules and statutes. They also often tend to dig in their heels when challenged, becoming caricatures of themselves and what they are supposed to be.

Has the association stated explicitly why they view the flagpole as a detriment to the community? Are there any pictures of the flagpole, in context of its surroundings?

The knee-jerk reaction is to say the association is totally in the wrong here. My gut feeling is that that is probably correct. But without more information, I'm hesitant to do so.

May I suggest that this be moved back up to the General Discussion forum, as it doesn't pertain to period flags or statues, and will viewed more and generate more discussion there?

Spinster
12-03-2009, 09:04 AM
As always, Doc B is well reasoned for the long haul.

While this is a worthy issue, it's not Civil War related-- and that's the purpose of this forum, and it's main military and civilian sub forums. While we normally remove discussions related to modern politics down to the Whine Cellar, I thought that inappropriate in this case. I moved it to "Flags and Statues" as my next best choice.

DeputyClerk
12-03-2009, 09:42 AM
I completely understand the need of you all wanting to bring awareness to this issue, as it so does deserve. However, as Ms. Lawson stated, this is a Civil War forum. Anything non related to this hobby or Civil War in general, which is "the" focus of this forum, that gets posted other then in the Whine Celler, don't be surprised if it gets moved by the mods.

Moving it here to this folder is a good move. I believe it can get just as much attention here then in General Discussion. Carry on.;)

flattop32355
12-03-2009, 11:46 AM
Moving it here to this folder is a good move. I believe it can get just as much attention here then in General Discussion. Carry on.;)

I respectfully defer to the greater wisdom of the moderators. That's why you get paid the big bucks.

Radar
12-03-2009, 01:42 PM
as requested. They had the typical government "non answer". It's an association, not county, issue. End of story. Typical government (have worked for the federal govt 28 years).

ACo.
12-03-2009, 02:30 PM
as requested. They had the typical government "non answer". It's an association, not county, issue. End of story. Typical government (have worked for the federal govt 28 years).

I am on the Colonel's side but calling government institutions, or blaming them for that matter, will accomplish nothing, it is not a violation of local, state or federal law to fly a flag so he's okay as far as they are concerned and I'm sure that most will agree with him and feel that the association is wrong on this. Now, here's the rub: since Col. Barfoot signed a legal agreement with the "homeowner's' association" when he moved to that neighborhood he is required to follow it's rules. And, since at least a couple of the members feel strongly enough about that agreement to see to it that it is enforced, I'm afraid he is out of luck and his flag pole can be legally removed by and in the name of the association. Attorneys for both sides may be able to sit down and work out an agreement that will allow an exception to the rule but otherwise his only option is to take them to court and force a change in the contract. Remember to carefully read what you sign your name to, I'm afraid Col. Barfoot may be out of luck unless he has deep pockets or decides to change his place of residence.

Mint Julep
12-03-2009, 02:43 PM
I am on his side but calling government institutions, or blaming them for that matter, will accomplish nothing, it is not a violation of local, state or federal law to fly a flag so he's okay as far as they are concerned and I'm sure that most will agree with him and feel that the association is wrong on this. Now, here's the rub: since Col. Barfoot signed a legal agreement with the "homeowner's' association" when he moved to that neighborhood he is required to follow it's rules. And, since at least a couple of the members feel strongly enough about that agreement to see to it that it is enforced, I'm afraid he is out of luck and his flag pole can be legally removed by and in the name of the association. Attorneys for both sides may be able to sit down and work out an agreement that will allow an exception to the rule but otherwise his only option is to take them to court and force a change in the contract. Remember to carefully read what you sign your name to, I'm afraid Col. Barfoot may be out of luck unless he has deep pockets or decides to change his place of residence.

You know, you said that well. I was thinking the same thing.

Barfoot feels morally right and thinks his service and citations will give him the right of way and he has stubbornly dug his heels in. Unfortunately, he has no grounds. As stated, he moved into a neighborhood with an HOA and is obligated to follow the rules or face the fines and penalties.

Sadly, there will be no winner here. He may win a waiver, but I doubt it. If they allow him, they would have to allow others. If they have denied others, they will have to deny him.

Perhaps the HOA can install a flagpole at the entrance to the subdivision and put Barfoot in charge of raising and lowering the colors daily.

plankmaker
12-03-2009, 03:31 PM
This has been going on for God knows how many years. They did the same thing to him in Richmond and he won there. When the Col. contacts the press and sets hordes of angry people onto the HOA, they back down and the topic goes away for a few years. They must have gotten a new president iof the HOA that doesn't have an idea of how big of a hornets nest turns into.

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

Jeffrey Cohen
12-03-2009, 04:31 PM
Unlike during the civil war where some medals were given out for just reenlisting, the Congressional Medal of Honor of the twentieth century were not. Most of these medals were awarded posthumously.
Moving the subject to flags? While I guess it is politically correct, I feel is morally wrong as most visitors to the boards check out the main dissuasion board first.
The CMH is not earned but awarded and in my humble opinion anyone who wears that ribbon deserves some slack from both housing boards and discussion board moderators.

FloridaHoosier
12-03-2009, 04:37 PM
Unlike during the civil war where some medals were given out for just reenlisting, the Congressional Medal of Honor of the twentieth century were not. Most of these medals were awarded posthumously.
Moving the subject to flags? While I guess it is politically correct, I feel is morally wrong as most visitors to the boards check out the main dissuasion board first.
The CMH is not earned but awarded and in my humble opinion anyone who wears that ribbon deserves some slack from both housing boards and discussion board moderators.

The movement has nothing to do with being politically correct and everything to do with where to fit something that really isn't Civil War related. Out of respect for the great things he has done, and out of respect for the CMH, we are allowing modern talk, for now. As soon as it turns political or takes another direction, we'll be forced to pull the plug on it.

KarinTimour
12-03-2009, 10:50 PM
To all the Mods: I've got no problem with moving this to Flags and Statues, it's not CW-related and it is generating discussion. Thank you for being willing to give it a chance. I probably shouldn't have even put it on this board (not being CW related), but it was late at night and I got my Irish up.....

Mr. Jacobs, thank you for your actions, sir, I appreciate them.

Bernard, always a pleasure to have your calm voice of reason chiming in on a topic.

Mark, interesting to hear that Col. Barfoot has done this before -- amazing what a study of history can add to just about any discussion -- in this case, local history.

Mr. Hern, our experiences differ in terms of the benefits to be won by a squeaky wheel -- even if it's squeaking just a little to the right of the person with the oil can. I've often found that local officials may not publicly do something, but they'll pick up the phone and have a few quiet words with the right party to try and get things back on an even keel.

Joe, I think yours is the best compromise I've heard yet. I think there's a fine future ahead of you as an arbitrator!

I'm hoping for a waiver for him, but in the absence of it, will be raising money to send Joe to Richmond to talk sense into the Homeowner's Association.

Thank you everyone, keep up the pressure and let's see what tomorrow brings!

Sincerely,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

plankmaker
12-04-2009, 07:57 AM
As before, he got another week and the HOA looks to be getting ready to fold due to all of the bad PR.

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

plankmaker
12-04-2009, 08:22 AM
Linky dink

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/article/FLAG041_20091203-234802/309499/

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

sbl
12-04-2009, 09:40 AM
The sticking point is that you have an American hero going against a board decision. I'd have voted to let him put it up, maybe gone over to help him. (my kids know all of the US flag customs because their grandfather has a flag pole in his yard)

I hate "what if's" and "slippery slopes" but here goes. If a someone, hero or no, goes against the board because of Col. Barfoot, and puts up some piece of schlock lawn art would people support his action? Tough one.

jthlmnn
12-05-2009, 10:06 AM
This has been going on for God knows how many years. They did the same thing to him in Richmond and he won there. When the Col. contacts the press and sets hordes of angry people onto the HOA, they back down and the topic goes away for a few years. They must have gotten a new president iof the HOA that doesn't have an idea of how big of a hornets nest turns into.

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

Mark,

Do you know when the previous dispute occurred? With all the flurry over the current situation, I can't find anything on it.

hanktrent
12-05-2009, 10:45 AM
Mark,

Do you know when the previous dispute occurred? With all the flurry over the current situation, I can't find anything on it.

I'm curious too. There's old news about a Charles H. Barfoot and a flag in another state, apparently not related at all to this Barfoot, and that's all I can find.

The news story about Col. Barfoot linked above says: "A Henrico judge ruled almost a decade ago in a similar dispute in another regulated community that a war veteran violated structural covenants there when he erected a flagpole against the community's policies," but that also seems to be a different unnamed person, unless they missed the fact that it was the same man.

If he's done this before, it'd make me feel more like he's the kind of guy who knows how to manipulate a mob into action to get his way, than an innocently wronged patriot who bought property controlled by a HOA without realizing what it would mean, so I'm curious to learn more.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@gmail.com

Provost
12-05-2009, 12:56 PM
The Provost wishes to express publicly his appreciation for all parties in this discussion. There were multiple places this could have gone off the rails but everyone acted with respectful restraint and the discussion continues.

This is what we've worked for, lo' these many years and it just made my day. Not that we don't do this often, or even usually, it was just more notable here and, in the spirit of thanksgiving, I wanted to express my gratitude for handling things in this fashion.

flattop32355
12-07-2009, 12:24 AM
I hate "what if's" and "slippery slopes" but here goes. If a someone, hero or no, goes against the board because of Col. Barfoot, and puts up some piece of schlock lawn art would people support his action? Tough one.

First, let's remove the fact that Mr. Barfoot won the Medal of Honor, etc. Impressive as that is, it should have no bearing upon the decision of whether the flagpole is appropriate or not.

Second, respectfully, there's a noticeable difference between schlock lawn art, persay, and most flagpoles. That call should be quite simple to make.

From the link by plankmaker:

There is no provision barring display of the flag at Sussex Square; but Barfoot erected the pole in direct contravention of a decision by the board that the vertical pole was not aesthetically appropriate.

"This is not about the American flag," the organization said Wednesday. "This is about the flagpole."

So, let's get to the nitty-gritty of the problem: Is the flagpole in question actually aesthetically inappropriate for the setting in which it was placed, or is it specifically banned by community rules?

Looking up video about the issue, it shows a simple 21 foot tall metal flagpole in the front yard of a non-discript house.

How does it detract from the community? What about it is "not aesthetically appropriate", and according to whom (just the board members, or the community as a whole), based upon what criteria?

If the answer to that last one is simply "We don't want it here", or "We think vertical flagpoles are ugly", then it has become a matter of personal like or dislike by the members of the association board, and their mission does not include inflicting their personal views upon the other residents of the community.

There is a section of the community rules entitled "Flags and Pennants", but in the video, only a portion of the wording is visible, and none concerning flagpoles, so it's of no help.

I find it interesting that no member of the community, other than Mr. Barfoot, has chosen to express his/her views on the subject publicly.

It should also be noted that some community members (unknown whether limited to board members or not) have received various forms of threats. That is entirely inappropriate and does not help Mr. Barfoot's cause.

sbl
12-07-2009, 09:53 AM
"Second, respectfully, there's a noticeable difference between schlock lawn art, persay, and most flagpoles. That call should be quite simple to make."

Yes Bernard...I agree.

plankmaker
12-07-2009, 10:52 AM
It was 10-15 years ago. Raised the same stink.

Mark Campbell
Piney Flats, TN

jthlmnn
12-08-2009, 09:58 AM
1) When he purchased the house, Col. Barfoot (Ret.) signed the paperwork that ceded the authority to make decisions like this to the HOA.

2) That he was fully aware of what this meant is evidenced by the fact that he requested permission to erect the flagpole from the HOA board in June. (You don't ask permission from somebody who does not have the authority to grant it.)

3) After permission was denied, he did not legally dispute the board's authority to make the decision or legally contest the grounds on which it was made. He simply ignored it.

4) From the website of the Virginia Homeowners Alliance, regarding the HOA's authority:
"The covenants require the association's architectural approval of any structures built on lots. The Sussex Square Homeowners Association in Henrico County maintains that the pole doesn't meet the community's aesthetic standards.

Virginia law requires HOAs to alert prospective purchasers as to any limitations on the owner's right to display an American flag. Therefore, Virginians should exercise due diligence before purchasing a home in a community that has a HOA covenant and should review the convenants carefully. Subject to certain limitations, HOAs are permitted to adopt rules about the appearance of homes within their boundaries and some HOAs can be quite strident in enforcing them. In this case, a home's feature is considered to be in violation of the covenant, even though it isn't expressly prohibited. (emphasis added)
http://www.vahomeownersalliance.com/localities/statewide

5) Some of the reports state that he previously flew the flag from a pole mounted on his porch, without any problems. Also, photos of other flags/flagpoles in that neighborhood show only angled, wall or post mounted poles. This indicates established practice and consistency.

6) His daughter is quoted as follows, "A house-mounted pole? That is not an option," Nicholls said. "The flagpole is definitely what he's fighting for." http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121058825


Based on the above, I do not see where Col. Barfoot has been wronged in any way. He is being treated the same as all other residents of that community. He knew the regulations and intentionally violated them. As a career officer, he certainly understood chain of command and proper procedure, as well as the risks assumed in violating them. His veteran status and Medal of Honor do not entitle him to any priveleged status under the law. (That would actually contradict what he fought for.) He could have/should have argued the decision and attempted to establish his right as a property owner to erect the flagpole before installing it. It was his decision not to pursue this course, but to seek confrontation.

Lest people think that his service is somehow forgotten or disrespected, his name is on a Veterans Care Center in Virginia (http://www.dvs.virginia.gov/carecenter_sitter-barfoot.shtml) and a segment of Mississippi Highway 16 (http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=11290944).

KathyBradford
12-08-2009, 06:44 PM
Update: The Office of Senator Mark Warner has released the following statement on behalf of the Sussex Square Homeowners Association Board:

"The Sussex Square Homeowners Association Board has agreed to withdraw legal action previously announced for Friday, December 11, 2009 at 5:00pm against Colonel Van T. Barfoot regarding the flagpole located on his property."

In response to the controversy involving 90-year old Medal of Honor recipient Col. Van Barfoot and the Sussex Square Homeowners' Association, Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) have introduced a resolution that would allow Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to display the American flag on their property at all times. The following is the official release:

http://www.wric.com/Global/story.asp?S=11643759

Regular updates are posted on facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Let-Col-Barfoot-Fly-the-American-Flag/192592076617?ref=nf

KarinTimour
12-08-2009, 11:32 PM
Thank you, Kathy for posting that. I've been wondering what's been happening recently and as a non-Facebook user I"m out of the loop.

I hope that's a workable compromise.

Thank you all for your help,

Sincerely,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

28thNY
12-09-2009, 01:01 PM
Update: The Office of Senator Mark Warner has released the following statement on behalf of the Sussex Square Homeowners Association Board:

"The Sussex Square Homeowners Association Board has agreed to withdraw legal action previously announced for Friday, December 11, 2009 at 5:00pm against Colonel Van T. Barfoot regarding the flagpole located on his property."

In response to the controversy involving 90-year old Medal of Honor recipient Col. Van Barfoot and the Sussex Square Homeowners' Association, Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) have introduced a resolution that would allow Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to display the American flag on their property at all times. The following is the official release:

http://www.wric.com/Global/story.asp?S=11643759

Regular updates are posted on facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Let-Col-Barfoot-Fly-the-American-Flag/192592076617?ref=nf

When an HOA has Congressmen coming down on them, you know they've gone too far... I can hear the HOA Board emitting a collective "Ooops!" right now.

I'm glad to hear that this issue had the appropriate outcome, but I'm still a firm believer that if you don't want to follow the rules of an HOA, don't live in one.

Here's a link from Fox News by the way: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,579773,00.html

sbl
12-09-2009, 03:33 PM
FOX News...either 196% right or 120% right lately. Hahahahahha!

sbl
12-09-2009, 04:45 PM
GEEEEEZE I shouldn't have written that. Sorry to all.

KarinTimour
12-10-2009, 12:42 AM
When an HOA has Congressmen coming down on them, you know they've gone too far... I can hear the HOA Board emitting a collective "Ooops!" right now.

I'm glad to hear that this issue had the appropriate outcome, but I'm still a firm believer that if you don't want to follow the rules of an HOA, don't live in one.

Here's a link from Fox News by the way: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,579773,00.html

Dear Mr. Taylor:

I totally agree!

THANK YOU EVERYONE for helping to bring the pressure to bear to get a compromise worked out!

When the people lead, the politicians will follow!

Sincerely,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

Jeffrey Cohen
12-10-2009, 07:31 AM
By ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON, AP
RICHMOND, Va. A 90-year-old Medal of Honor winner says he plans to fly Old Glory "without interference" for the rest of his life, now that his homeowners' association has dropped a demand to take down a 21-foot flagpole in his front yard.

Retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot read a statement Wednesday thanking people nationwide who backed his efforts to fly the American flag at his home.

Barfoot's comments came a day after the Sussex Square homeowners' association dropped threats of legal action. He had erected the flagpole in September, despite being denied permission to do so because it violated the neighborhood's aesthetic guidelines.

Barfoot received the Medal of Honor after standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka during World War II.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A 90-year-old Medal of Honor winner can keep his 21-foot flagpole in his front yard after a homeowner's association dropped its request to remove it, a spokesman for Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said Tuesday.

The Sussex Square homeowners' association likewise has agreed to drop threats to take legal action against retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said.

The association had threatened to take Barfoot to court if he failed to remove the pole from his suburban Richmond home by Friday. It had said the pole violated the neighborhood's aesthetic guidelines.

Neither Barfoot's daughter, Margaret Nicholls, nor homeowners' president Glenn Wilson immediately returned telephone messages.

Dropping the issue effectively ends a request that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday called "silly."

Warner and Sen. Jim Webb, both Virginia Democrats, had rallied behind Barfoot, a World War II veteran.

In a letter last week, Webb urged the association to "consider the exceptional nature of Col. Barfoot's service when considering his pride and determination in honoring our flag."

Barfoot's fight also has lit up veterans bulletin boards and blog sites supporting him.

Barfoot won the Medal of Honor for actions while his platoon was under German assault near Carano, Italy, in May 1944. He was credited with standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.

He also won the Purple Heart and other decorations, and served in Korea and Vietnam before retiring from the service in 1974.

sbl
12-10-2009, 08:20 AM
Win or got their way?


"Dropping the issue effectively ends a request that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday called "silly.""

As usual a "spin."

FloridaHoosier
12-10-2009, 08:23 AM
With this concluded for now, we'll entertain opening it again if there becomes a need for further discussion....