By CALEB SLINKARD
It may be a few years overdue, but Hunt County’s own Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War II, may be posthumously awarded his final medal: the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.
The Texas House of Representatives voted unanimously on July 18 to call on Gov. Rick Perry to grant this honor to Murphy, who is nationally recognized for his courageous actions in World War II and for his subsequent movie roles. The legislation, known as HCR 3, has now been sent to the Texas Senate for approval.
Last month the Herald-Banner published an article by Jay Root of the Texas Tribune that outlined the frustrations of Murphy’s family and supporters as a second effort to award the medal to Murphy failed.
In the past, the Texas Legislative Medal was only awarded once every two years. But the legislature passed a bill this year that allows them to award the medal to two individuals every other year.
The original bill to award the honor to Murphy was passed by the Texas legislature, but it was lost in the flurry of action at the end of the regular session.
A second bill, SCR5, was filed in the first special session Gov. Perry called, but it expired when the special session adjourned.
Rep. Scott Turner (R-Rockwall), who filed HCR 3 in the second special session Perry called, spoke to the Texas House before the vote.
“I ask you to stand with me today and reaffirm our commitment, although long overdue, to our most highly decorated World War II combat soldier, Audie L. Murphy, by posthumously awarding him the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor,” he said. “Although he received 33 decorations, awards and citations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and three Purple Hearts, the Texas legislature has yet to award Major Murphy the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.”
Advocates of the bill have urged Texas citizens to call Gov. Perry’s office and ask him to fast-track the bill.
The Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, which was first awarded in 1997, is the highest military decoration that may be awarded to a member of the Texas Military Forces.