GREENVILLE — To honor and remember our nation’s military heroes, Audie Murphy Days’ Salute to the Military will kick off Friday, May 16. The annual two-day event, which is free and open to the public, is hosted by the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum to celebrate Audie Leon Murphy, the most decorated combat soldier of World War II, as well as military veterans and those currently serving our country.

Audie Murphy Days’ Salute to the Military, May 16-17, centers on the personal stories of active and retired soldiers and Audie Murphy, a native son of Hunt County, war hero, Hollywood film star and accomplished songwriter. This year’s events will consist of a variety of speakers, displays and entertainment. Noted speakers include retired Chief Warrant Officer 2 Elizabeth McCormick who was a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, our very own local retired Air Force CMSgt. Thomas Petersen who flew more than 250 combat support sorties with over 5,000 flying hours and Ollie Ledbetter, a boyhood friend of Audie Murphy’s.

Saturday morning will include a demonstration/program by Patriot PAWS, a non-profit organization who trains and provides service dogs at no cost to disabled American veterans and others with mobile disabilities in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence and entertainment by the Heritage Brass Band, a reenactment band based in Dallas. Dressed in authentic uniforms, the band will play predominantly WWII music with a little swing thrown in, patriotic medleys and marches. Some of the music will also include a George M. Cohen medley, “Battle of the Green Beret” and the “Colonel Bogey March.” The Heritage Brass Band has performed for dances, ceremonies, reenactments, living histories, funerals, parades and movie premiers all over Texas.

Audie Murphy Days’ Salute to the Military

Friday’s events will be held at the Civic Center at 5501 Hwy. 69 South in Greenville beginning at 9 a.m. and will close the evening with Audie Bingo and a performance by R.D. Foster and Mike “Six Strings” Sanchez. Foster and Sanchez are both nationally recognized songwriters and have been performing together for over 15 years. They sing a blend of country & western, rock n’ roll, blues and folk music and Foster’s songs have been recorded or performed by Texas Music legends such as Will Barnes, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Bugs Henderson, David Allen Coe, Ronny Spears and many others. In addition, Mike has shared the stage with legendary performers such as Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hank Thompson and Rusty Wier.

The concert (dinner is included) is one of the few events that are not free. Tickets are now on sale and cost $12 for adults and $5 for children 5-12 years old. Saturday’s events will begin at the Civic Center and will move to the Museum located at 600 I-30 East in Greenville in the afternoon. A regular admission charge of $6 adults, $4 seniors and $2 students will apply to enter the Museum. Re-admittance for the weekend into the Museum will be free. These are just some of the activities taking place.

Contact the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum at 903-450-4502 or visit the website at amacmuseum.com for additional information. Funding for this event is provided in part by the City of Greenville Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax.