by Doug Book, editor
Nearly 2 years ago, Coach is Right published this piece about Audie Leon Murphy, one of the true American heroes. Though he had at last been awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor by Governor Rick Perry, President Obama had not–has not–honored Murphy with the nation’s highest civilian recognition, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
CiR has included the link to a petition that Audie Murphy be so honored. Few have been more deserving for their contributions during war and peace. Please join those signatories who have already chosen to make the duty of an American president clear to Barack Obama.
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
Yet 42 years after his untimely death in a 1971 plane crash, the Governor of Texas had allowed a bill recommending Audie Murphy for the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to “fall through the cracks” not once, but TWICE! In 2013, 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.
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 from 2013 until today, endorsements are still 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 will soon be honored by Barack Obama.
Sources: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/audiemurphy/ Petition
1.) http://www.badassoftheweek.com/murphy.html A catalogue of the Medals and awards won by Murphy