Col. Bob Barefield serves local veterans

From left, SCALNC members Mary Ellen and Keith Schramm, whose son was killed in Iraq, Clark, Barefield, Nancy Barefield and Charles Duncan. (Contributed)

From left, SCALNC members Mary Ellen and Keith Schramm, whose son was killed in Iraq, Clark, Barefield, Nancy Barefield and Charles Duncan. (Contributed)

By Phoebe Donald Robinson / Community Columnist
Col. Robert L. Barefield Sr. is a decorated Army veteran who has lived his life for his country, best said in his own words.
“Our youth must understand that we owe our freedom to veterans who have fought and died to protect the USA against enemies who want to disrupt our way of life and impose their will on our citizens. Freedom is not a right and it is not free, it comes at a high cost not only to our military, but also at great sacrifice to their families. Freedom has to be fought for and won every day. I am proud to have served with America’s bravest and brightest in both peacetime and war.”
Barefield grew up on a farm in Kentucky where he learned his steadfast work ethic. He has been married to wife Nancy for 41 years, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Barefield entered the U.S. Army in 1968 where he served as an infantry soldier, retiring as Colonel in 1998. Among his assignments included duty in Vietnam, invasion of Cambodia with 1st Calvary Division, commanding the 1st Battalion, 508th Airborne in Panama leading up to Operation Just Cause and last commanding the 5th Brigade, US Army Cadet Command.
Some of Barefield’s many awards and decorations were:  Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, Army Aviation Wings, Master Parachutist Badge and Pathfinder Badge, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with “V,” Bronze Star Medal (third award), Purple Heart (fifth award), Meritorious Service Medal (Seventh award), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with “V”.
Barefield passion today is patriotic causes especially the Shoal Creek Overlook Project at the Alabama National Veterans Cemetery where he is chairman of ALNC Support Committee. SCALNC is raising funds for an outdoor sanctuary where families and friends can reflect on the lives of their deceased veterans. He is also Vice Commander American Legion Post 911 and with wife Nancy co-chair of Patriotism in Action and on Board of Directors of Blue Star Salute Foundation which is preparing for the Dec. 13t  Wreathes Across America. For info and to donate for both causes, see Scalnc.org and Bluestarsalute.org.