The 90-year-old Congressional Medal of Honor winner likes to raise the flag each morning and lower it at sunset. But since the homeowners association doesn't like his flagpole, he has until 5 PM Friday to take it down or get sued. Should he lose his lawsuit, the association would also ding him for legal costs.
Can we count the different stupidities here?
1) Having your notice to a 90-year-old man written and delivered by a law firm and threatening to have him pay your legal bills if you have to sue him.
2) Denying an application to said 90-year-old man to erect a flagpole even though the association bylaws don't explicitly forbid it, on aesthetic grounds.
3) Getting hot and bothered about a flagpole in a yard owned by a 90-year-old man. How long do you think this is going to be a problem?
4) Telling one of fewer than 100 living Congressional Medal of Honor recipients -- who by the way also earned a Silver Star, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart during his career -- he can't fly the American flag the way he wants to.
As my headline suggests, who thought this would be a good idea? And digging a little more, let's see what Col. Barfoot did to earn his nation's highest military honor. We can find it at the Medal of Honor Society website, but I'll summarize. He captured three machine-gun nests and 17 German soldiers. By himself. Later in the day, he faced down three tanks and shot one in the tread with a bazooka, disabling it. While on his way back to his unit after blowing up a German artillery piece, he helped two wounded soldiers back to safety.
I figure that guy who gave three tanks the hairy eyeball and a bazooka round when he was 24 may have lost a step or two in the ensuing 66 years. At 90, he may not be what he once was. But I'm betting he's still got enough in him to handle a county homeowners association.