Veteran of the Week: Barefield awarded DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Col. (Retired) Robert L. Barfield was awarded the DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal for his service to our nation both as an active member of the U.S. Army and for his work on behalf of veterans since his retirement.
He was sponsored by the David Lindsay Chapter of Shelby County, Regent Margaret Clark, and awarded his medal and certificate at the National Defense Luncheon at the DAR State Conference on March 7 at the Auburn Dixon Conference Center.
DAR National Defense Chair Ann Bandgren invited Brig. Gen. Joseph S. Stringham, U.S. Army Retired, to be the luncheon’s keynote speaker, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who was featured in the John Wayne movie “Green Berets” and has been inducted into the prestigious U.S. Ranger Hall of Fame and Special Forces Hall of Fame.
Two other DAR Distinguished Citizen Medals were awarded: Della Fancher, founder of the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park, was sponsored by the Lily of Cahaba Chapter, and Mr. David Conklin, honored for his work with the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation which gives life-saving grants to first responders, was sponsored by the Princess Sehoy Chapter.
Barefield served in the Vietnam War and the invasion of Cambodia. While a platoon leader with Company A 11th Armored Calvary, his company volunteered to rescue Company C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Calvary, who were surrounded and overwhelmed by the North Vietnamese near the Cambodian border.
Barefield was wounded in the battle and his unit received a Presidential Unit Citation in 2014, 44 years later for their heroic service against an overwhelming enemy force on March 26, 1970, written in the book “The Anonymous Battle” by Capt. John Poindexter.
Highly decorated, Barfield retired in 1998 after 30 years of service.
Today Barefield and wife Nancy’s passion is the Alabama National Cemetery, where he is chair of the Support Committee.
They are raising funds to develop the Shoal Creek Overlook Project, a beautiful, respectful and peaceful sitting area overlooking the creek for loved ones of fallen heroes to reflect and remember their deceased veterans.
For information or to donate, see Scalnc.org/special-project-fundraisers.html.