Audie Murphy - America's Most Decorated Soldier
"America's Most Decorated Soldier" is rendered in Goliath-size bronze (he was a little guy in life) just off of the interstate, dressed in GI fatigues, a captured German 7.92mm MG42 machine gun lifted off the ground, ready to blow a bloody path through the Nazi lines. In less than three years of World War II service, Audie Murphy was credited with single-handedly terminating more than 240 German soldiers. This one-man killing machine received every decoration of valor that the United States had to offer, some more than once, as well as five decorations from France and Belgium. And he did it all before he reached the age of 21.
Audie came home to a hero's welcome, starred in Hollywood films, and penned country-western songs ("Shutters and Boards," "When the Wind Blows In Chicago"). But he also suffered from years of shell shock, and from drug addiction to deaden the shell shock, and he died in a plane crash when he was only 46.
Behind the statue is the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum. Audie was a humble man, which perhaps explains why this greatest American war hero shares a museum with an agricultural product.