10 Jul Marine statue dedicated Big Springs,Texas

‘Source Of Inspiration’

Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Soldier Statue 2

O'Brien Statue

In the photo, a statue of George O’Brien, Big Spring’s only Medal of Honor winner, during Veteran’s Day ceremonies at the VA Medical Center Tuesday. At left, Christina Menchaca, Belinda Garcia and Maira Alvarez lay a wreath at the base of the medical center’s flagpole. The statue was donated by Jerry Worthy. The artwork and bronze statue were produced by www.bigstatues.com (HERALD photo/Steve Reagan)

Staff Writer
It seems that about the only person who would have made a fuss about honoring George O’Brien Tuesday would have been O’Brien himself.

George O’Brien, Big Spring’s only Medal of Honor winner, was memorialized with a statue during Veteran’s Day. The statue, which depicts O’Brien when he was a Marine Corps lieutenant during the Korean Conflict, was unveiled during Veteran’s Day ceremonies at the Big Spring VA Medical Center Tuesday.

More than 20 family members and hundreds of local residents were on for the ceremony.

“We are very humbled and very appreciative,” said O’Brien’s son, Rob. “Speaking for myself and my family, this statue not only honors my father, but everyone who has served in the military.”

The elder O’Brien earned this country’s highest military honor for meritorious service in Korea on Oct. 27, 1952.

The citation honoring O’Brien reads:

Second Lt. O’Brien was recognized for his bravery during a fierce attack on his platoon in Korea.  Although shot through the arm and thrown to the ground, he bravely regained his feet, waved his men onward, and continued to spearhead the assault, pausing only long enough to go to the aid of a wounded marine.

Struck down by the concussion of grenades on three occasions during the subsequent action, he steadfastly refused to be evacuated for medical treatment and continued to lead his platoon in the assault for a period of four hours.

By his exceptionally daring and forceful leadership in the face of overwhelming odds, 2nd Lt. O’Brien served as a constant source of inspiration to all who observed him and was greatly instrumental in the recapture of a strategic position on the main line of resistance.

Lt. O’Brien was awarded the Medal of Honor Oct. 27, 1952.

O’Brien’s son said his father, who died in 2005, was very tight-lipped about his military exploits.

“He never mentioned it, ever,” Rob O’Brien said. “He never thought it was a big deal. He just considered it him doing his job.”

However, a long-time friend of the family thought different. Jerry Worthy donated the statue to the VAMC in honor of his friend.

“He was in my wedding party 50 years ago,” Worthy said. “For everything he’s done … I thought this would be the perfect way to honor him.”

The only thing Worthy was worried that might put a damper on the ceremonies was the fabled West Texas wind.

“I dreamed the other night that the wind picked up while I was pulling the cover off the statue … and it blew me away,” Worthy said. “I tell you, I woke up in a sweat.”

But the elements behaved.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all the people of Big Spring who have been so much help in getting this done,” Worthy said. “In 100 years, this statue will still be here. It will will remind us that we should always give thanks to those who sacrifice for their country.”
Contact Staff Writer Steve Reagan at 263-7331 ext. 234 or by e-mail at reporter@bigspringherald.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Friday, 14 November 2008 )
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