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July/August 2017

Texas At-Large:
Medal of Honor Marker Dedicated

© Xande AndererVVA at-large members Michael Bishop and Michael Neely of Nacogdoches, Texas, organized a historical marker dedication ceremony on Memorial Day to honor Medal of Honor recipient Marine PFC Oscar P. Austin, who served as a machine gunner with E, 2/7 of the First Marine Division. Austin was killed in action on February 23, 1969, while saving the life of a fellow Marine.  

Photo: Michael BishopHe ran through intense enemy fire and started taking the wounded Marine to safe ground when an NVA soldier tossed a hand grenade at them. “Reacting instantly,” Austin “leaped between the injured Marine and the lethal object, absorbing the effects of its detonation,” his Medal of Honor citation reads. “As he ignored his painful injuries and turned to examine the wounded man, he saw a North Vietnamese Army soldier aiming a weapon at his unconscious companion.” Whereupon Austin threw himself between the injured Marine and the NVA soldier, and was mortally wounded. 

The dedication ceremony speakers included Army veteran and VVA member R.D. Wittner and Retired USMC Lt. Col. Albert Charanza. With the family of PFC Austin, they unveiled the historical marker in his honor. It will be donated to the City of Nacogdoches and displayed at the city library.  

Organizer and coordinator Bishop will present the Austin marker to the city on National POW/MIA Recognition Day in September.




- Departments
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-Sibling Ceremony: Barry County (Missouri) Chapter 1023

-Barney’s Destroyer:
Col. “Barney” Barnum honored
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