[July 3, 2019] Tomorrow is the 4th of July and a special time for all Americans. As a tribute to the many that fought for our freedoms, from the U.S. Revolutionary War to present, I’m providing a short story about WWII veteran Staff Sergeant Bernard Friedenberg.
I’m fortunate to live in a part of the country that acknowledges and truly honors the sacrifices of those who served. We all look up to them as examples of exemplary behavior. If you want to be successful, good advice is to be around and study those who are successful.
Staff Sergeant Bernard Friedenberg was a 20-year old, 124-pound young man who wanted to join up after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Rejected by all the military services for bad eyesight, he was eventually allowed into the U.S. Army as a “non-combatant.” As many who study history know, there is really no such thing as a non-combatant in combat.
Friedenberg was a medic in the 16th Infantry Regiment under the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division. He was in the fourth wave to storm the beaches on D-Day at Normandy on “Omaha Beach.” He earned his first Silver Star Medal for making five trips under heavy enemy fire to recover the wounded from a minefield. He was again awarded the Silver Star Medal for his bravery at Münsterbusch, Germany. Staff Sergeant Friedenberg was also given two Bronze Star Medals for valor.1
Friedenberg left the army and became a good family man, father, and respected community member. Men like him make us who we are as a nation and as a society. And, like Audie Murphy, who I profiled a couple of days ago, Friedenberg had the burning desire to help others and he too is a hero. You can find a Facebook page dedicated to him here (see link).