Community honors Audie Murphy, soldiers and veterans

Community honors Audie Murphy, soldiers and veterans

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The life and times of America’s most decorated war hero as well as all veterans and active-duty soldiers were celebrated during Audie Murphy Day.

The Fletcher Warren Civic Center saw plenty of action as it hosted a special program featuring a presentation of the colors by the Hunt County Veterans Honor Guard and a program that featured many speakers reflecting on the life of Audie Murphy.

Col. Richard Kaniss, Ret., president of the North Texas-Audie Murphy Chapter of the Association of the United States Army based in Dallas was the first guest to speak.

Soups up! A World War II Living History Encampment was set up near the cotton museum by Able Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Parachute Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, for the Audie Murphy Day festivities. (Photo by Ryan Scott)

Kaniss spoke at length about what his AUSA chapter does and about the chapter’s namesake.

Brett Halsey, an accomplished Hollywood actor who has starred in more than 100 films, spoke about his time sharing the screen with Murphy in the film “To Hell and Back,” among others.

“Audie was someone you could always depend on,” Halsey said. “Just like when he was in the Army, he always took care of his men.”

Music journalist Coy Prather spoke about Murphy’s songwriting career, just another one of Murphy’s many talents and accolades.

Some of Murphy’s songs went on to be performed by stars such as Dean Martin and Charley Pride.

Also in the civic center was a display featuring vintage movie posters featuring Murphy, as well as some of his original musical compositions.

The Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum featured not only a screening of “To Hell and Back” and a question and answer session with Halsey, but a little taste of World War II was on the lawn near the museum as Able Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, created a World War II living history encampment complete with 1940’s Army Jeeps, barracks and a mess hall.

The evening ended with a candlelight remembrance at the cotton museum for all soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

(Editor’s note: This article was reprinted with permission from the Greenville Herald-Banner.)