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Audie Murphy: An American Hero Essay

1178 words - 5 pages

In 1989 I was a private in basic training at Fort Benning Georgia United States Army Infantry School. In a classroom setting, for a reason that I cannot recall, one of my drill sergeants said “you’re no Audie Murphy.” I made the rookie mistake of asking “Who is Audie Murphy?” The room went silent. I did not know why, but I knew something was wrong because all three of my drill instructors including the senior drill instructor stared at me like I dropped my rifle. The senior drill instructor said, “You’re in the Army and you don’t know who Audie Murphy is?” In a stern voice he told me to find out then report back to tell him about Audie Murphy. I asked other people in the class, and I learned ...view middle of the document...

Murphy”1). This accomplishment alone puts him in an elite class of soldiers.
In addition to his field commission, “…Audie was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Bronze Star, and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf luster, Good Conduct medal, the Distinguished Service Cross, and a World War II Victory Medal” (Rains 1). The Medal of Honor is the highest honor awarded to anyone in the military. If the highest ranking officer in the military approaches a soldier of any rank wearing the Medal of Honor he or she must salute the soldier wearing the Medal. I have been in the military for more than twenty years, and I have only had the honor of seeing one living Medal of Honor recipient. When I had the opportunity to see the soldier awarded the Medal there was a base-wide announcement of his arrival one week in advance.
Among Audie’s accomplishments during World War II one battle stands out from the rest. Audie’s unit came under fire from six enemy tanks and waves of infantry ground troops. Audie ordered his men into the wood line for cover while he stayed forward to call for indirect artillery on the advancing tanks. During the fight one of the ally tank destroyers took a “…direct hit and began to burn” (“Audie L. Murphy” 1). While the rest of the crew fled the vehicle, Audie climbed on top of the burning vehicle to man a .50 caliber machine gun. In a battle that lasted an hour, Audie single-handedly killed dozens of enemy soldiers (1).Wounded in the leg during the battle, he never quit fighting. During the encounter, command asked Audie over a field phone “How close is the enemy to your position” to which Audie replied “Wait a minute and I’ll let you speak to one” (Hubler 2). Eventually Audie ran out of ammunition, but still led his troops safely back to his company’s muster point. He refused medical care instead choosing to organize a counter attack that forced what was left of the German soldiers to retreat. His selfless and courageous actions saved his soldiers and kept the Germans from possibly encircling his company, which helped prevent a costly ally defeat (“Audie L. Murphy” 1).
Audie Murphy’s military experience and leadership during war time is reason enough for me to select him as a personal hero. However, his...

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