President Signs Conaway VA Renaming Bill into Law for Odessa VA ClinicPress Release
Washington, D.C. — Friday, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2334, to rename the Odessa VA Clinic to the "Wilson and Young Medal of Honor VA Clinic.” This bill, authored by Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11), honors two of Odessa’s finest heroes: United States Marine Corps Private First Class Alfred “Mac” Wilson and United States Army Staff Sergeant Marvin Rex Young. These young men sacrificed their own lives during the Vietnam War in defense of their fellow service members. Both were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions.
“Mac and Rex are true West Texas heroes,” said Congressman Conaway. “Both left behind inspiring and heroic legacies that deserve to be honored for generations to come. Renaming the clinic ensures that every veteran who steps through the door will know the names of Mac and Rex and learn of their unbelievable selflessness in defense of our country. I am extremely pleased to see this bill cross the finish line with the President’s signature, and I thank all those involved in pushing this to completion.”
United States Army Staff Sergeant Marvin Rex Young
While on a reconnaissance mission on August 21, 1968, SSG Young’s platoon came under intense fire from the North Vietnamese Army, killing the platoon leader. In response, Young instinctively assumed command of the platoon, directing his men into defensive positions to counter the attacking forces. While moving through a hail of enemy bullets, SSG Young repeatedly exposed himself to peril for the good of his fellow soldiers. After suffering a critical head wound and additional injuries to his arm and leg, Young refused to receive care that would have slowed his platoon. Instead, he ordered his men to withdraw while he provided cover fire and was eventually engulfed by the enemy. His actions saved the lives of many men at the cost of his own.
United States Marine Corps Private First Class Alfred “Mac” Wilson
On March 3, 1969, PFC Wilson’s platoon was ambushed. As squad leader, he set his platoon in a defensive position and began returning fire. When the platoon’s machine gunner and assistant gunner were seriously injured, Wilson and another Marine ran through heavy enemy fire to regain operation of the weapon. As they reached the machine gun, an enemy soldier threw a grenade between Wilson and the Marine. Wilson instinctively threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the explosion with his own body and sacrificing his own life for his friend.
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