Texas VLB Acknowledges National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

Texas VLB
Texas VLB
Jul 26 · 3 min read

The Texas Veterans Land Board today salutes all those who served in the Korean War, because it is National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day. This war never officially ended, but only has an armistice, or a truce, holding back the fighting from breaking out today. That’s one of the reasons that the Korean peninsula is still one of the most fortified areas of the globe, with a demilitarized zone, or DMZ, separating North and South Korea.

One Texan who exemplified courage in the Korean War was George H. O’Brien. Born in Fort Worth but raised in Big Spring, O’Brien served in the Merchant Marines after high school, then joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1949. He graduated from Texas Technological College, which is now Texas Tech University, and then was called into active service in 1951. He became a Marine officer after completing Officer Training School in Quantico, Virginia, and received orders for Korea, where he joined the 1st Marine Division.

O’Brien was serving as a second lieutenant with Company H of the 3rd Battalion 7th Marines when ordered to take a hill which had been overrun by North Korean soldiers during the previous night. He charged from a trench, yelling for his men to follow him, and headed up the hill. He was almost immediately shot in the arm, but continued to advance, throwing hand grenades into enemy positions and killing at least three of the enemy soldiers. His men followed him and fought bravely. O’Brien refused to evacuate, despite his wounds, and continued fighting for the four hours of the raging battle. Thanks to his bravery, the Marines took control of the hill, until the following morning when the Marines were pushed out. O’Brien stayed until all the wounded were evacuated, and only then would he relinquish his position to the enemy.

For his “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity”, he was honored by President Dwight D. Eisenhower with the Medal of Honor. The ceremony took place one year to the day after the notable battle.

O’Brien went home to Texas, and raised a family. He was a frequent volunteer at the Big Spring Veterans Administration medical center, and when he died in 2005 at the age of 78, he was buried in Austin at the Texas State Cemetery.

One does not need to have a Medal of Honor to be buried in one of the four Texas State Veterans Cemeteries around Texas. Burial benefits are exactly the same at the Texas State Veterans Cemeteries as they are at the VA National Cemeteries, and the Veterans Land Board ensures that our staff help each Texas Veteran and their family at their time of need. You can find out more at https://vlb.texas.gov/cemeteries.

The Texas Veterans Land Board salutes our Korean War Veterans today, and emphasizes that, even though this war is referred to as “the Forgotten War”, we will never forget their sacrifice.

If you are a Veteran, thank you for your service. Click Here to Sign Up to stay informed on your benefits with the Texas Veterans Land Board.

Texas Veterans Blog

A blog for the Texas Veterans Land Board that provides…

Texas Veterans Blog

A blog for the Texas Veterans Land Board that provides in-depth information on benefits, programs and resources for Veterans, military members and their families in Texas.