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O’Brien name graces VAMC

January 19, 2012

George H. O'Brien's grandson, Sgt. George Matthew Puryear, speaks on behalf of the O'Brien family during Wednesday's renaming ceremony at the VA Medical Center. Also pictured from left are Daniel Marsh, director of the VA Center, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Jerry Worthy and former Pfc. James Meineke, a member of O'Brien's battalion. (HERALD photo/Amanda Moreno)

The Big Spring VA Medical Center officially became the George H. O’Brien VA Medical Center Wednesday, as dignitaries, veterans and others gathered to pay tribute to a man who was praised as a husband, father, grandfather, friend, patriot and an American hero.

O’Brien, who died in 2005 at the age of 78, is the only Big Spring resident to receive the Medal of Honor, the most prestigious award that can be bestowed on a U.S. serviceman, according to Daniel Marsh, medical center director.

“This center embodies the spirit and service that George demonstrated throughout his combat career and afterwards,” Marsh said. “How appropriate it is that it bears his name.”

O’Brien was presented with the medal Oct. 27, 1953, a year after he spearheaded the capture of an enemy-held hill while wounded by enemy fire in Korea.

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