Congressman Randy Neugebauer has released a statement recognizing a notable Big Spring hero.

Neugebauer added a provision into the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011, designating the area Veterans Affairs hospital as the George H. O’Brien Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The bill passed Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 412 to 3.

O’Brien received the Medal of Honor from President Eisenhower in 1952 for his courageous actions in Korea. O’Brien graduated from Big Spring High School, and then enlisted as a private in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1949. In 1952, he was wounded during a battle, yet still managed to lead the capture of a hill under control of the enemy.

In a 2003 interview, O’Brien said “This Medal of Honor is not mine; I hold it in trust for so many young people who didn’t become grandfathers.”

Neugebauer said that renaming the Veterans Affairs medical center after O’Brien “will also help us to remember the courageous acts he achieved in service of his country and his brothers in the Corps.”

A scholarship to benefit U.S. Marines and their children under O'Brien's name has been established at Texas Tech University.

George H. O’Brien died in 2005.

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