Should parents of US KIA's pay Federal income taxes?

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
George Washington

Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
Mark Twain

Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


You can't talk about heroes in America without mentioning Audie Murphy.  Audie Murphy won every award for valor that this country bestows upon her heroes.  He was a phenomenal fighting man, even though his career was over before he was old enough to vote (hat tip to Rick Perry).

"The true meaning of America, you ask? It's in a Texas rodeo, in a policeman's badge, in the sound of laughing children, in a political rally, in a newspaper... In all these things, and many more, you'll find America. In all these things, you'll find freedom. And freedom is what America means to the world. And to me." 

Audie Murphy grew up in poverty in Kingston, Texas.  He was seventeen years old when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor, and like a true hero, he ran to the Marine recruiter.  In a blunder that will never be forgiven, the Marine recruiter turned him away.  Audie Murphy was so boyish looking, that he appeared to be only twelve years old.  Murphy didn't quit, though, he tried the Army, and they sent him away.  After he turned 18, with a letter from his older sister saying he was indeed 18, he finally enlisted in the Army.

In a period of 27 months, Murphy was promoted from private to second lieutenant, was awarded every medal for valor, and even doubled up on the Silver Star and Bronze Star.  After the war, he went to Hollywood, where he made a lot of Westerns, and a couple of war movies you may have heard of:  To Hell and Back, and The Red Badge of Courage.  To Hell and Back was based on Murphy's autobiography.

Murphy was killed in a plane crash near Roanoke, Virginia in May of 1971.  He has been receiving honors on a regular basis ever since, the most recent in November of 2010, when he  was nominated for a posthumous bestowal of the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, the highest military award within the State of Texas.

“I must have done some of my best fighting in a war I was in long before I 
joined the Army.  You might say there never was a ‘peace time’ in my life, a 
time when things were good.... It was a full time job just existing.


“I’ll tell you what bravery really is.  Bravery is just the determination to do a job that you know has to be done."


  1. Great story! He was just as good a womanizer as he was a fighter. Evidently, an excellent one. His wife loved him to the end and always spoke well of him. Later she volunteered to do work with retuning wounded vetereans. She died just a few years ago.

  2. Oddly enough, Murphy's wife is on my list of heroes. Her post will be coming out after Christmas.

  3. Wonderful post, yet again.

    How did Murphy get promoted to Second Lieutenant. Isn't that a comissioned officer? Did you not need a college degree to be comissioned back in WWII?

  4. Johnny,

    While a college degree is usually necessary, at certain times, like when officers are being killed and wounded at an accelerated rate, good NCO's are commissioned to help swell the officer ranks.

    On the list of heroes I have written about, all of them are Mustangs, or prior enlisted men. Some were commissioned under the agreement that if they live through the war, they go get a college degree, or get out of the service, or go back to enlisted rank.

    A guy on my list for future posts is Col. Wesley Fox, Medal of Honor winner, and father of three of the prettiest girls I knew growing up. He has the distinction of holding every rank from private to Colonel, except one. He was never a Sgt. Major. He was directly commissioned from 1stSgt. to 2nd Lieutenant, then went on to reach colonel. He reached the mandatory retirement age before he could make flag rank.

  5. By the way, Hardnox, your comment about womanizing is another example of how the Marine Corps let a good one slip by.

  6. Tenth,

    I detect a bit of prior enlisted bias here. At the Marine Officer Basic School (Where all Marine officers go for up to 6 months before attending their specialty schools) they started placing a gold star on the door of BOQ (Bachelor Officer's Quarters)rooms where lieutenants who were killed in Vietnam had lived.

    As with all government ideas it had some unintended consequences. After awhile there were so many stars that it damped morale. Further as with any random event some rooms received more stars than others which some thought made them unlucky. They discontinued the practice before I got to TBS.

    As an aside the BOQ was named for Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon the hero of Derna, Tripoli and the BOQ complex was expanded to include another building named for Medal of Honor recipient Second Lieutenant Terrance Graves. Gaves was a product of the ROTC program and had been in country for less than three months.

  7. CS,

    I'm certain I have a little bias in this area, but I am not intentionally picking out Mustangs. I'll see what I can do about finding a non-Mustang hero - I know there are plenty.

  8. Tenth,

    Just pulling your chain. Your posts are great.

  9. TGP,

    Good post. Like you, I have a bias towards Mustangers. Out of all of the ones I met, only saw one or two that really sucked and oddly enough, the Corps flushed em! haha.

    I may catch a lot of flak over this but I find that Murphy was over-awarded for his actions, especially when I read the citations of guys like Tony Stein, Manila John, etc. Indeed, consider Sgt Maj Kasal...

    "In a fire fight in a house in Fallujah, although wounded by seven 7.62x39mm AK-47 rounds and hit by more than 43 pieces of hot fragmentation from a grenade while using his body to shield an injured fellow Marine, Kasal refused to quit fighting and is credited with saving the lives of several Marines during the U.S. assault on insurgent strongholds in Fallujah in November 2004.

    By the time he was carried out of the house by LCpl Chris Marquez and LCpl Dane Shaffer, Kasal had lost approximately 60 percent of his blood. The photograph of Kasal, taken by photographer Lucian Read — blood-soaked and still holding his M9 pistol and KA-Bar fighting knife — being helped from the building by fellow Marines, has become one of the iconic pictures of the war.

  10. Gunny,

    I might agree with that, but I know from several highly decorated Marines that the citation takes a minute to read, while in many cases, the action was hours and in some cases (Gonzalez, for one), days. I have no doubt that Audie Murphy was one bad ass dude. Perhaps the fact that he was a runt made people think he was tougher than he was, but every time he was wounded, he went AWOL to get back to the front.

    SgtMaj Kasal is definitely one badass Marine, and he definitely carries on the tradition.