Founded in 1996, this is the official website for Audie Murphy. Audie Murphy painting, copyright 2010, Dave Phillips. Used with permission.

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Audie Murphy painting, copyright 2010, Dave Phillips. Used with permission. Founded in 1996, this is the official website for Audie Murphy.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:17 pm 
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Just so everyone will know.
Since my return from my last deployment (recently) I have been trying to confirm what is on-hand at the VA Hospital, and to ascertain that the artifacts pertaining to Audie are properly being cared for.
I have spent several hours being redirected and misdirected and given the run around from the hospital in general about the items that Pam sent there in 1971 in particular and more over the years. All total the hospital had 162 items that had been donated by Pam.
Long story short, as we know, their was orignally an Audie Murphy Memorial Room where the items were displayed. Over the years because of 'space concerns' these items were relegated to display in the lobby of the hospital.
Today, finally I received definative answers to my questions through the hospital PAO Chief.
It appears that the Hospital Administration (not D.C.) made the decision to remove and return all items associated with Audie that had been donated to the hospital by Pam with the following exceptions:

1) A replica (not Audie's) uniform that was kept to be displayed in the lobby

2) An oil painting of Audie in uniform

3) A Medal of Honor which is displayed on the uniform

4) Several (# unknown) old movie posters which will be on display in the auditorium.

All other items maintained by the hospital were returned to AMRF.

I personally find this appalling behavoir from the VA Hospital that bears Audie's name and Statue. I am so angry that I know not what to do. It is especially galling that the Hospital Administration made this decison of their own accord apparently without consulting the Dept of Veteran's Affairs in Washington.

In addition although the Hospital still bears Audie's name, it is now referred to as the "South Texas Veterans Healthcare System" when answering the phone. This is attributed to the fact that "we care for Vetarans all over South Texas."

The hospital PAO gave the answer that the hospital did not have proper curators to maintain the items and nor did they have adequate space to display the items.

In addition I know that the hospital had two (2) Medals of Honor at one time. One of which was Audie's original 1904 Gillespie Medal of Honor, which was issued (awarded) in 1945, and the second a later perhaps 1950's replacement Medal of Honor. The hospital cannot confirm what happened to the second Medal of Honor and they are now are looking for it. In addition, the hospital is not sure which Medal of Honor is displayed on the replica uniform.
To that end, the hospital PAO has promised to photograph the Medal of Honor in its possession by next week and send me an image so that we can determine which Medal they have, as it appears that one may be missing.
The PAO said that the hospital did not maintain 'proper inventory' of what was in its possession over the years etc etc.
So, to that end, I have prepared and will mail a letter tomorrow to 55 members of Congress outlining the story as I have detailed above. The letter will go to all members of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees as well as a handful of members of Congress who are known for Veterans Advocacy. In addition I will copy the Office of the Inspector General at the VA and General Shinseki, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Although in the end this will not alter the disposition of the Audie Murphy Collection at the Hospital as the items have already been returned, perhaps someone there will get 'blistered' for having made such a decsion at such a 'low level' without having consulted with the Office of the Seecretary of Veterans Affairs.
I will post the text of the letter that I am mailing tomorrow.

Just wanted to let everyone know.
Dave

_________________
"I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent."


Last edited by Audie'sDad on Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:16 pm 
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WOW! I HAD NO IDEA THE HOSPITAL WAS THAT IRRESPONSIBLE WITH THE VERY IMPORTANT ITEMS. I KNOW CONGRESSMAN RALPH HALL DEFINITELY NEEDS TO KNOW. HE HAS BEEN COMING TO AUDIE MURPHY DAYS AS LONG AS I HAVE. HE CAME FOR THE FIRST ONE IN '96 WHEN HE WAS ONLY A SENATOR. HE WILL GET THE BALL ROLLING.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Yes, I have Congressman Hall on my list
Thanks,

_________________
"I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent."


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:45 pm 
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Thank's again for bringing another serious issue to everyones attention.Why in the world would they do something like that and without even consulting the Dept of Veteran's affairs it is absoultley appaling and it makes me furious.That Hospital was named after Audie to Honor him and Pam so graciously donated so much memorbilla for them just to return the item's that Pam wanted the Hospital to have.And there only excuse is they dont have enough space unbelieveable them items belonged in the Hospital to Honor Audie.Again if there's any way i can help please let me know Dave, Sarah


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:51 pm 
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What is happening with Audie’s memorabilia at the VA Hospital in San Antonio is not only criminal it is an insult to a great hero who went “above and beyond the call of duty.” If a dead person could cry, Audie surely is!!

A number of years ago I visited the hospital and at that time they had an area set aside designated as the “Memorial Room.” My heart dropped to the floor when I saw a German edition of “To Hell and Back” NAILED to the wall!!! I knew then that NOT a damn person in the hospital administration cared about the treasures they had!!! The apathy continues!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:55 am 
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Location: Sacramento, California 95815
Dear Folks,
I am so pissed right now, I could scream !!!!! Of all the Lame brain acts to do, this one takes the
cake. And These are supposed to be medical professionals. Wow, I would not want them to operate
on a pet monkey I don't have. Don't they consider anything sacred anymore. I sure hope it isn't the
original CMOH that is missing. The questions I have are, When did this return of items take place?
Has anyone contacted Terry to confirm he received some memorbilia items from the San Antonio
Hospital ?. Apparently, they listed what they kept, but did they list what they supposedly returned?
Did they send it registered so that someone had to sign for these items??? Here Pam was soooo
GENEROUS to donate these items in the first place and then some lame brain administrator decides
to change the display all around. WoW. What idiots. I am sad to say, when Ruxy and I were traveling
through Texas in 2008, we were never close enough to San Antonio to stop and see the hospital
or Audie's memorbilia that was housed there. Now to know that some of it is at this point in time,
missing, that just breaks my heart because some day I had planned to get to San Antonio and see
the hospital and the statue and these items. What a Bummer, and soooo disrespectful of Audie's
Memory. Sorry I am ranting. Mr. Phillips, if there is anything I can do to help you in your quest ,
please don't hesitate to contact me. Cordially, Shirley Jean. And I do have one other thought.
There are members on this board who have been associated with AMRF for a long long time and
also was in attendance at the opening and dedication of the hospital, would any of them maybe have some video of the original Audie Murphy Room, that would give visual evidence to what was
original there in the display? They say one picture is worth a thousand words, and in that way,
we maybe able to have visual proof of items that MAY now be missing. Just a thought folks.
Again Sincerely, Shirley Jean.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:20 am 
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david williams wrote:
WOW! I HAD NO IDEA THE HOSPITAL WAS THAT IRRESPONSIBLE WITH THE VERY IMPORTANT ITEMS. I KNOW CONGRESSMAN RALPH HALL DEFINITELY NEEDS TO KNOW. HE HAS BEEN COMING TO AUDIE MURPHY DAYS AS LONG AS I HAVE. HE CAME FOR THE FIRST ONE IN '96 WHEN HE WAS ONLY A SENATOR. HE WILL GET THE BALL ROLLING.


Yes, I sent some 55 letters to Congress yesterday about this issue, including Ralph Hall's Office as well as the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs and the Office of the Inspector General of the VA.
Will keep you all posted as to what I hear in return.
It is too late to reclaim these items but someone should have to answer the big question, WHY?

_________________
"I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent."


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:29 am 
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[quote="Dave"]I would think Audie would want the room to be used for his veterans don't you all?

What is the room used for now?

Back then when they had the display room for Audie only, they didn't have the Audie Murphy Museum in Greenville (TX).

Is there a need to have both an Audie Murphy room display and, a Audie Murphy main lobby display?

Has the lobby display been there a long time? how long?

If the items were returned, its with his family's permission and or agreement I would think.

And there is not need for 2 MH's there, is there? His family probably has the other one.


It appears that you did not read the entire post or perhaps that I did not explain it well enough but I thought I had.
I have no idea what the old "Memorial Room" is used for now. It doesn't matter. The fact remains that over the years, because suppossedly for 'lack of space' that room was taken and used for other things.
The display was them moved to the lobby, and "NO" it wasn't a nice display.
Some time ago one of the Medals of Honor was haphasardly thrown or placed against the back glass of a display cabinet, Stan Smith personally saw a German edition of "To Hell and Back" nailed through the center of the book into the wall.
The hospital admitted that they were not curators and had no way of taking care of these things and I was told the other day but hospital administration, "hey, we aren't in the Museum business".
Of course, they had the family permission to return the items, but that is not the point.
Pam donated these items there with the understanding that they would remain there and on display as a memorial to her husband.
As for the two Medal's of Honor issue, I think you missed the popint.
One is believed missing, I thought that was made clear in the post. Which one we don't as of now know which one. It was not returned to the family and has been missing it is believed for some time.
As to a Memorial Room and a Lobby Display, no both aren't needed, but at least the items should have been given proper respect and viewing as that was the original intent.

_________________
"I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent."


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:32 am 
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I have a friend who lives near the hospital.
We will see how this works out but he is going to go today hopefully, to the hospital and photograph the few items remaining.
Hopefully one one MoH will be on display and we will then know which one the hospital has custody of.
He will sent me the pics via email and I will post them.
Thanks

_________________
"I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent."


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:39 am 
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Shirleyjean wrote:
Dear Folks,
I am so pissed right now, I could scream !!!!! Of all the Lame brain acts to do, this one takes the
cake. And These are supposed to be medical professionals. Wow, I would not want them to operate
on a pet monkey I don't have. Don't they consider anything sacred anymore. I sure hope it isn't the
original CMOH that is missing. The questions I have are, When did this return of items take place?
Has anyone contacted Terry to confirm he received some memorbilia items from the San Antonio
Hospital ?. Apparently, they listed what they kept, but did they list what they supposedly returned?
Did they send it registered so that someone had to sign for these items??? Here Pam was soooo
GENEROUS to donate these items in the first place and then some lame brain administrator decides
to change the display all around. WoW. What idiots. I am sad to say, when Ruxy and I were traveling
through Texas in 2008, we were never close enough to San Antonio to stop and see the hospital
or Audie's memorbilia that was housed there. Now to know that some of it is at this point in time,
missing, that just breaks my heart because some day I had planned to get to San Antonio and see
the hospital and the statue and these items. What a Bummer, and soooo disrespectful of Audie's
Memory. Sorry I am ranting. Mr. Phillips, if there is anything I can do to help you in your quest ,
please don't hesitate to contact me. Cordially, Shirley Jean. And I do have one other thought.
There are members on this board who have been associated with AMRF for a long long time and
also was in attendance at the opening and dedication of the hospital, would any of them maybe have some video of the original Audie Murphy Room, that would give visual evidence to what was
original there in the display? They say one picture is worth a thousand words, and in that way,
we maybe able to have visual proof of items that MAY now be missing. Just a thought folks.
Again Sincerely, Shirley Jean.


The returns started some 4-6 months ago and everything was sent via Registered Mail. It was signed for so Terry has possession now.
As to photographic evidence, I have an inventory that details the items that Pam sent to the hospital. The inventory was conducted by the hospital some years ago so there is no doubt as to what was there. All total 162 items.
Later today I will post the text of my letter to members of Congress, VA, etc. It is rather long but very detailed and I thought well-written.
If you have any desire to read through it, please do so. Thanks

_________________
"I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent."


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Location: Sacramento, California 95815
Dave Phillips, I commend you highly, if it weren't for your efforts, none of this would have been
known. It is only through your efforts here, also the Texas Honor Medal, and the Presidential
Medal of Freedom petition that Audie's memory is being realized. Those of us who do not
revere history are bound to repeat it... I have been able to read your letter and what an
EXCELLENT LETTER IT WAS.... Again if I can be of any service to you in your efforts, please don't
hesitate to contact me. I am honored to be associated with a fine individual and gentlemen such
as yourself. I hope your efforts are brought to fruitation. Sincerely, Shirley Jean.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:32 pm 
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Posts: 44
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
Mrs. Burns gave many items for the VA to display. None were returned to her family that I know of. I don't know if her daughter has a list or not. I will try to find out. I will also look for pictures, I don't remember if I made any or not. Weldon's brother gave a talk at the hospital a yr. or so ago. He lives in SA. I will ask if he knows anything about the items. I do have pictures of what the Greenville Library had in their AM room. The room at SA wasn't as large as a patient room. There were displayed items and pull out drawers under several displays. Weldon says neither MOH was the original one--he says Audie tossed all of the medals that Mrsl Burns had in a display case, one day when he came in angry. He took Weldon and they went for a ride in the country side and he tossed them as he drove---Weldon wasn't very old, but he has vivid memories of Audie, they were close. Will see what I can find.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:01 am 
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Location: Texas
I visited the AM Veterans Memorial Hospital about 5 years ago. We were there visiting friends at the time and I was SO EXCITED to be going "finally". When we got there, my granddaughter and I went into the lobby and of course, the first thing I looked for was the "Audie Murphy Room". I couldn't find it. I would assume that it would've been right inside the front door. I finally asked someone that I thought would know and she said that they had moved everything. There was only a couple of items on the wall in the lobby. I don't even remember what they were now. I believe a lobby card or 2. Maybe Dave Phillips' friend will identify them when he reports to Dave.

I guess that wherever they had the memoribilia was a room off the lobby. I'm just assuming. I do have some photos which are copies of the originals that DeAnna Glause (she attends AM Days every year from Colorado) took when they went quite a few years ago. I will try to find them and see what was on display. I know that they sold t-shirt souvenirs when she went because she's got one.

Also, another thing that I was very disappointed in was the grounds that surround the statue. We made pictures out there with the grandkids and the grounds were very grown up and apparently not maintained on a regular basis.

I don't know how to upload pix on this website so if anyone is interested in seeing "what I can find", if I can find it, of what used to be in the room at the hospital, please send me a private message via this
website.

I'm really sick about what has happened down there. It's going to be up to we fans to "raise a ruckus" to let them know that there's people out here that Audie means alot to and don't like what has gone on down there. If I was closer, I'd be "in their faces".

Does anyone know how to contact Terry at all? I've been told his financial situation isn't very good at this time.

***Teri


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:58 pm 
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I don't believe you have to be in the museum business to display items of such historic value. What you do need is attention to the honor shown to the hospital to put such valuable items in their care. When such attention, such as nailing a book to a wall, is shown I believe it shows irresponsibility and stupidity. Would they have done the same thing if such items had been bestowed from say General Eisenhower? Perhaps the hospital administration needs to be reminded of the value of our history. I think I agree with the person who said they wouldn't take their sick monkey there, if they had one. I certainly wouldn't want to leave sick veteran, there. Thanks for letting me vent.
Victoria


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Shirleyjean wrote:
Dave Phillips, I commend you highly, if it weren't for your efforts, none of this would have been
known. It is only through your efforts here, also the Texas Honor Medal, and the Presidential
Medal of Freedom petition that Audie's memory is being realized. Those of us who do not
revere history are bound to repeat it... I have been able to read your letter and what an
EXCELLENT LETTER IT WAS.... Again if I can be of any service to you in your efforts, please don't
hesitate to contact me. I am honored to be associated with a fine individual and gentlemen such
as yourself. I hope your efforts are brought to fruitation. Sincerely, Shirley Jean.


Thank Shirley Jean. I appreciate the compliment.
Will keep you all informed as we go along and will post any replies to the letter.

_________________
"I believe in all the men who stood up against the enemy, taking their beatings without whimper and their triumphs without boasting. The men who went and would go again to hell and back to preserve what our country thinks right and decent."


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