Ceremony held for Valley Marine killed in Vietnam 45 years ago

PHOENIX - It was a solemn ceremony at a Phoenix cemetery on Sunday.

The service at Greenwood/Memory Lawn was held to honor a fallen Valley soldier 45 years after he died.

Marine Pfc. Oscar Austin was killed in action in Vietnam on February 23, 1969.

But it wasn’t before he could help his fellow Marines to safety.

“He just did some miraculous things to save the lives of others, and in doing so it cost him his life,” said Danny White.

Austin was posthumously awarded both the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart.

He was a 1967 graduate of Phoenix Union High School.

Stan Mulgrove graduated just two years before Austin and remembers him as a quiet but outstanding young man.

“He ran a paper route and worked at a laundry to help support his family,” Mulgrove said.

Some of Austin’s former classmates have joined the Buffalo Soldiers and others in the community to officially recognize this local hero.

They want to permanently honor Austin with a statue placed in Wesley Bolin Plaza, across from the State Capitol.

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