By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
The Texas Senate passed House Concurrent Resolution 3 (HCR 3), a resolution that would posthumously award the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War II.
Murphy, who died in a plane crash in 1971, is eligible for the medal due to his service in the Texas Army National Guard. Murphy is a recipient of numerous national and foreign medals, 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 vote took place on July 25 and was unanimous. The resolution must be submitted to Gov. Rick Perry for approval.
The Texas House of Representatives voted unanimously on July 18 to call on Perry to grant this honor to Murphy, who is nationally recognized for his courageous actions in World War II and his subsequent movie roles.
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 resolution 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 resolution, SCR5, was filed in the first special session Gov. Perry called, but it expired when the special session adjourned.
Rep. Scott Turner (R-Rockwall) authored HCR 3 in the second special session Perry called.
Wile Murphy passed away more than four decades ago, the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor might not be his last medal. Dave Phillips, who was instrumental in getting Murphy nominated for the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, has put together a petition he plans to send to President Barack Obama to nominate Murphy for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The petition is supported by an extensive list of military personnel, including Medal of Honor recipients, four star generals, former chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff, musicians and many more.
The medal of freedom is the highest honor the United States can bestow upon a civilian, and the medal is awarded at the sole discretion of the President of the United States. Phillips nomination is based not on Murphy’s impressive military record, but on his efforts to raise awareness of what is now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), condition Murphy suffered from.
For more information on the petition, visit www.audiemurphy.com.