Segment 4


Barfoot grew up on a farm and his family was all on the farm. They grew cotton and corn and made a living during the Depression when nobody was making money. They made enough to live on and the children went to school and worked. In the summer time, they would cut the school afternoon short and come home to pick cotton or whatever they had to do. On the weekends, the only thing they had to do was play baseball or go to a local game. In the winter time, the boys went hunting and fishing. It was not like farming today with air-conditioned tractors. They used hoes and picked the grass out of the corn and cotton. They grew up as a family and all did well. Barfoot said one of his brothers didn't go to war because of a foot injury that he could walk on, but kept him from being a soldier. The other was older and married and had a child that was an invalid early in life. He was the only male out of the family that could serve. Two of his sisters were nurses. One was an employee with a manufacturing unit and the other was young when the war was almost over. His mother and father stayed home and his mother took care of the family while his father took care of the business. They were wonderful people and great Christians.Barfoot recalled seeing them for the first time when he returned from the war. He flew from New York to Jackson [Annotator’s Note: Mississippi] and was happy to be there. When he got to Jackson, there was a vehicle and entourage to meet him. There was a driver and he told him to take him home. They stopped off in Carthage at the county seat for a parade and when he finally got home it was just his family and he enjoyed seeing them very much. He didn't stay long; after he left there he went to Virginia where he finished his tour and got married.Barfoot feels that his faith didn't get him through the war, but it sure helped. It helped calm him down a lot of times when he might have been too excited. He noted that it was amazing what your mentality, if you develop it properly, will do for you. He was never afraid and never doubted that he wouldn't get through. He expected to get wounded and he did. He was wounded three times, but he never stopped or had fear of going back the next time. He says “your faith and mental capacity of the human nature is the greatest defense you have, because you don't lose your perspective when you are doing a job.” He flew combat missions in Vietnam even though he was in a senior position there as a Deputy Aviation Officer in Vietnam. He flew 26 combat missions and none of that ever bothered him.Once World War II ended, he discussed with his wife what to do next and she said he should do whatever he wanted to. He wanted to try it a little longer in the military. They found it was exciting to stay in the Army and finish his education and have an opportunity to raise a family. She enjoyed it and she became like a mother to the young people coming into the military, especially to the men he commanded. When he had to go to another war and go overseas by himself, she was able to manage and take the children. When he retired, they came to Virginia and built a house and were living on a farm until she died in 1992. He felt they were extremely fortunate to have the children that they have. He has family pictures all over his house of his wife, his parents and his family.Barfoot thinks that he couldn't ask for anything else in life other than to let him have good health for the rest of it.


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