The Texas Medal of Honor – a Posthumous Declaration of Heroism

 In Military, Politics, Veterans

Two men from separate generations, from different wars, were honored on Wednesday by the State of Texas.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott bestowed the state’s highest honor posthumously to Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle and Lt Colonel Ed Dyess on Wednesday. The Legislative Medal of Honor is the highest military honor available in Texas.

texas medal of honor

Medal of Honor ceremony in Texas- photo via Governor Abbott’s office

Both men were born and raised in Texas, and both attended Tarleton State University in Stephenville. And both were fierce fighters, heroes of intense military battles – one a pilot, one a Navy SEAL.

Several veterans came to the ceremony, and when it came time for Taya Kyle to received Chris Kyle’s award, she stepped up to Governor Abbot and whispered that she would like all of the veterans there to come with her because…“He didn’t fight alone.” 

The Texas Medal of Honor

Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle – “The Legend”

Chris Kyle died in 2013 at a gun range at the hands of a man he was trying to help.

“Known by his peers as “The Legend” for his uncanny skill, Chief Kyle was as FEARED by the enemy, as he was celebrated by his fellow Americans,He was nicknamed ‘The devil of Ramadi’ by the insurgents, who put an $80,000 price on his head…

During the 2nd battle for Fallujah in Nov. 2004, 4 men were trapped near a heavily fortified enemy position. Chief Kyle ran through enemy fire, joined the trapped men & provided suppressing fire, to enable them to escape. As he made his own escape one of the Marines was wounded. With enemy rounds thudding all around him, he grabbed his comrade by his body armor & dragged him 50 yards to safety. He then returned to the battle until every last enemy insurgent was killed.” Governor Greg Abbott

The book “American Sniper” and the subsequent movie serve as testament to a man whose abilities in battle saved many American lives.

LtCol Ed Dyess – An Heroic Pilot

LtCol Dyess’ sister, Elizabeth Denman, accepted the award  for him. He would have turned 99 this year.

Ed Dyess was captured in the Philippines and survived the infamous Bataan Death March. He was rescued by a U.S. ship and returned to the United States. He was promoted to LtCol in December 1943- he died that very day when his plane lost an engine as he attempted an emergency landing.  The Book “Bataan Death March” which recounted some of his exploits, became a bestseller in 1944.

“While the nation still reeled from the attack on Pearl Harbor, 1st Lt. Dyess was one of the first Americans to engage the enemy. The New York Times later called Dyess, the ‘One man scourge of the Japanese’ because of his staggering heroism.”

“Whether shooting down enemy planes, leading America’s first amphibious landing of WWII or conducting audacious air raids, Dyess was unstoppable…So devastating was his attack on the enemy supply depot at Subic Bay, that Radio Tokyo reported 54 bombers and swarms of fighter planes had been responsible. It was [then] Capt. Dyess and five battered war planes.” Governor Greg Abbott

It may have taken a WWII Texan a long time to receive the Medal of Honor, but it finally came. For Chris Kyle, the acknowledgement of his heroism is given amidst constant cries against him by those who have never set foot outside their houses.  Thank you, Governor Abbott, for honoring men of valor.

 

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