Friday, October 21, 2011

Audie Murphy: A True American Hero; Thank You Service Members Returning From Iraq; Patrolman Down; Two Volunteer Firefighters Save Woman

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."---Winston Churchill

Audie Murphy: A True American Hero:

I chose to highlight Audie Murphy in today's post specifically because many people younger than 40 years of age don't know who he was (including many Service personnel). And, those who do, remember him only as a Hollywood actor.

Major Audie Murphy is widely considered one of the most decorated soldiers during World War II. He was awarded The Medal of Honor after serving over two years in the European Theatre. In addition to The Medal of Honor, he was the recipient of 32 additional medals and citations from the United States and Europe. These included, but were not limited to, The Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, The French Legion of Honor, French Croix de guerre, and The Belgium Croix de guerre.

He received The Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in January of 1945 in France. As a 2nd Lieutenant, his unit was involved in deadly combat,  severely reduced in strength to 19. He ordered his remaining men to withdraw to the rear into the woods. He continued firing at the German forces until he ran out of ammunition. He then climbed on an M-10 tank destroyer that was in danger of blowing up and started firing its .50 cal machine gun at the advancing Germans. He was alone and exposed to fire from three directions. Nevertheless, he killed dozens of German soldiers which held off their advance. Lt. Murphy was able to hold off the enemy for more than an hour. Some Germans were within 10 feet of his position only to be taken out by Murphy's fire. Although he received a leg wound, he continued holding off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition. He returned to his company, refused medical attention and organized a counter attack, which forced the German soldiers to withdraw. He killed or wounded 50 of the German forces. (source: Medal of Honor Citation)

After his military career, Murphy became a Hollywood actor. He stared in many films including critically acclaimed Red Badge of Courage and To Hell and Back, based on his heroic military service. He was initially reluctant about staring in To Hell and Back, because he didn't want to appear he was cashing in on his fame. He even suggested Tony Curtis take the role in the film.

Major Audie Murphy was killed during Memorial Day Weekend in 1971 in a plane crash in Virginia. On June 7, 1971, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Thank You Iraq Service Men and Women and Veterans:

Dedicated to Heroes wants to take this moment to salute the 40,000 men and women who will be returning from Iraq at the end of this year. In addition, we also salute all of the men and women who preceded them in the last 8 years. We also want to salute their families.

RIP Patrolman Joseph Wargo:

Mount Arlington, NJ, Patrolman Joseph Wargo was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a drunk driver on October 16, 2011. Wargo was a 10 year veteran on the force. He's survived by his wife (Officer Down Memorial Page).

Two Volunteer Firefighters Save Woman From Burning House:

On October 10, 2011, two volunteer Levittown, NY, firefighters saved a woman from a burning house before their own firetruck arrived to the scene. Chris Tuohy and Lionel Roseval, the volunteer firefighters, went directly to the scene of the fire from their own homes and arrived before the fire engines. The woman was taken to the hospital and was reported in critical condition, said a hospital spokesperson. "Thank God for volunteer firefighters," said one of the neighbors who witnessed the Tuohy and Roseval carry the woman out of the burning house (Newsday).

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