Did you know? I didn’t.
Audie Murphy’s wife… What a beautiful Lady
Audie was 46 years old when he died in a helicopter crash into the Virginia Mts. He was bothered all his life from the war – it affected his life. He never got the medical help he should have.
Not many young people know who Audie Murphy was or what a big a war hero he was. Two or three of the medals he earned would make most service men proud, but to earn decorations in battle – truly unbelievable.
List of Decorations for Audie Murphy:
Medal of Honor Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star (with oak leaf cluster) Legion of Merit
Bronze Star (with oak leaf cluster and Valor Device)
Purple Heart (with two oak leaf clusters)
U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal
U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (with First Oak Leaf Cluster)
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine
Campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France )
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany Clasp)
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
French Fourrage in Colors of the Croix de Guerre
French Legion of Honor – Grade of Chevalier
French Croix de guerre (with Silver Star),
French Croix de guerre (with Palm)
Medal of Liberated France Belgian Croix de guerre (with 1940 Palm)
Additionally, Murphy was awarded:
The Combat Infantry Marksman badge with Rifle Bar ,
Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar
Isn’t it sad the media tells us about the BAD that goes on, but ignores GOOD people? If a movie Star or politician stubs a toe we hear about it.
(From the Los Angeles Times on April 15, 2010)
Pamela Murphy,widow of Audie Murphy, died on April 8, 2010. She was the widow of the most decorated WWII hero – Audie Murphy, and established her own distinctive 35 year career working as a patient liaison at Sepulveda Veterans Administration hospital, treating every veteran who visited the facility as if they were VIP.
Any soldier/Marine who came into the hospital got the same special treatment from her. She’d walk the hallways with her clipboard making sure her boys saw the specialists they needed. If they didn’t, watch out.
Her boys weren’t Medal of Honor recipients but it didn’t matter to Pam. They served their Country. That was good enough for her. She never called a veteran by his first name. It was always “Mister.” Respect came with the job.
“Nobody could cut through VA red tape faster than Mrs. Murphy,” said veteran Stephen Sherman, speaking for thousands of veterans she
befriended over the years. “Many times I watched her march a veteran who had been waiting over an hour right into the doctor’s office.
She was even reprimanded a few times, but it didn’t matter to Mrs. Murphy. “Only her boys mattered. She was our angel.”
Audie Murphy died broke in a plane crash in 1971, squandering millions of dollars on gambling, bad investments, and other women. “Even with adultery and desertion at the end, he remained my hero,” Pam told me.
She went from a ranch-style home in Van Nuys where she raised two sons to a small apartment – taking a clerk’s job at the nearby VA to support herself and paying her faded movie star husband’s debts. At first, no one knew who she was. Soon, word spread through the VA that the nice woman with the clipboard was Audie Murphy’s widow. It was like saying General Patton just walked in the front door. Men with tears in their eyes walked to her and gave her a hug. “Thank you,” they said, over and over.
The first couple of years, the hugs were more for Audie’s memory as a war hero. The last 30 years, were for Pam.
One year I asked her to be the focus of a Veteran’s Day news column for all the work she did. Pam shook her head no. “Honor them, not me,” she said, pointing to a group of veterans. “They’re the ones who deserve it.”
The vets disagreed. Mrs. Murphy deserved the accolades, they said. In 2002, Pam’s job was to be eliminated in budget cuts. She was considered “excess staff.” “I don’t think helping cut veterans’ complaints and showing them the respect they deserve should be considered excess staff,” she told me.
Neither did the veterans. They held a rally for her outside the VA gates. Pretty soon, word came from the top of the VA. Pam Murphy was no longer considered “excess staff.”
She remained working full time at the VA until 2007 at age 87.
“The last time she was here was a couple of years ago for the conference we had for homeless veterans,” said Becky James, coordinator of the VA’s Veterans History Project. Pam wanted to see if there was anything she could do to help more of her boys. Pam Murphy was 90 when she died. What a lady.
Los Angeles Times on April 15, 2010