Governor Rick Perry formally presented the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor posthumously to Major Audie L. Murphy today in a public ceremony in Farmersville, Texas. The award was accepted by Murphy’s sister, Mrs. Nadine Murphy-Lockey.
Murphy was America’s most decorated World War II combat soldier, earning an astounding 33 decorations, medals, and citations, including the US Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, and a Purple Heart. Throughout his military career, he received every valor decoration the service awarded at that time.
After the war, Audie Murphy appeared in over 50 films, spanning a 21-year career — most notably playing himself in the 1955 autobiographical war film To Hell and Back (based on his 1949 memoirs), which set a box-office record for Universal Studios, which wasn’t broken until Jaws was released in 1975. In an effort to draw attention to the problems of returning Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, Murphy spoke out candidly about his own problems with post-traumatic stress disorder. It was known during Murphy’s lifetime as battle fatigue and shell shock, terminology that dated back to World War I.
On May 28th, 1971, Murphy was killed when the private plane in which he was a passenger crashed into Brush Mountain, near Catawba, Virginia in conditions of rain, clouds, fog, and zero visibility. As a result of legislation introduced by the US Congress, five months after his death, the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio was dedicated in 1973; and is now a part of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.
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