Thursday, May 19, 2016
Audie Murphy, a genuine hero, is finally honored by the "conservative" State of his birth
by Doug Book, editor
Fully sixteen years after the State of Texas began honoring its military heroes with the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, the most decorated combat soldier of World War II was finally recognized by Governor Rick Perry and the Texas legislature.
Born in the Lone Star State in 1924, the 5'6", 130lb Audie Leon Murphy was told he was too small to make it in the Navy or the US Marines. So the baby-faced, underaged Texan enlisted in the Army and in early 1942 was shipped to North Africa as part of the Third Infantry Division.
And in 3 years of war, Audie Murphy performed feats of bravery unequalled by any American soldier.
On January 26th, 1945, then Lieutenant Murphy was one of just 19 soldiers remaining from a company of 128 men. He had been ordered to hold the important Colmar Pocket area near the village of Holtzwihr in France.
Faced with an approaching enemy force of 3 infantry support companies and 6 heavy Tiger tanks, Murphy ordered his men well back into a defensive position while he climbed behind a 50 cal machine gun mounted on a burning M-10 Tank Destroyer.
Though the M-10 threatened to explode at any moment, for a full hour he called down a withering artillery barrage on the German position using his OWN map coordinates to provide firing intructions. When one of the artillery crew asked how close the enemy were to his position, Murphy is said to have responded, "Hang on the line and I'll let you talk to one of the bastards."
After 60 minutes, so many German soldiers had been killed by American artillery and Murphy's 50 caliber gun that the Tigers were forced to withdraw due to the critical loss of ground support. Audie Murphy had held his position against clearly impossible odds single handed without the loss of one American life.
Yet 42 years after his untimely death in a 1971 plane crash, the Governor of Texas allowed a bill recommending Audie Murphy for the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to "fall through the cracks" not once, but TWICE! A hastily called, third legislative session and an apparently alert Governor Perry finally succeeded in awarding Murphy the Medal he had so richly deserved since 1997. On August 20th, the most decorated soldier of WWII was awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, posthumously.
By the way, there was no press release, no public acknowledgement that Texas' most prestigious military award had gone to a hero who won 33 medals and honors during World War II; made 44 motion pictures and spent 20 years traveling the country to raise funds for the research and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), commonly called shell-shock, a debilitating condition from which Murphy himself suffered.
And now, endorsements are pouring in for Audie Murphy to be awarded the nation's highest CIVILIAN honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Though credited by the Army with killing some 240 of the enemy, wounding 500 and capturing 100 more, it is for the years he dedicated to returning veterans and raising awareness for PTSD that people like Bob Dole, General Tommy Franks, two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, 55 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor and a host of others have endorsed Murphy to President Obama.
Here's hoping a genuine hero from Texas is treated better by a liberal President than he has been by his conservative state.
The above piece was posted on the Coach is Right website one year ago.
UPDATE: On November 17th of 2015, Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to such patriotic luminaries as Barbara Streisand, Steven Spielberg and far left Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. Awarded posthumously was Shirley Chisolm because she was the first black female elected to congress.
The most decorated American soldier of WWII is still waiting.