Riley Murray left behind a legacy of pride in America, flag

11:20 am | March 19, 2013

World War II veteran Riley Murray didn’t leave behind many stories of his time in the Army – but he did leave behind a feature_Murraylasting legacy, fondly recalled by his family.

“My father was a real patriot,” Frank Murray said of his father. “He instilled in all of us pride in the flag and what a great place America is. The American flag is a symbol of freedom. It is unique in the world.”

Murray was drafted into the Army when he was 28 years old. He served from May 12, 1943, until Dec. 28, 1945. He was stationed in the Philippines and New Guinea, where he worked as a refrigeration mechanic. He had reached the rank of sergeant when he was honorably discharged and was awarded the Philippines Liberation Ribbon. He passed away in 1979.

“He didn’t say much about it,” Frank said. “A lot of the World War II veterans did not talk about what happened when they came back.”

Murray was born and grew up in Carter County. He was originally named Ruby but changed his name to Reuben when he was old enough to do so. Most people called him Riley, and occasionally RR. His family lived in Happy Valley until his father bought a new place on Stoney Creek. Murray married his wife Wanda in 1940, and worked at Beaunit Fibers before being drafted.

“When he was inducted in the Army, he had to leave his wife and my older sister Rachel when she was just a baby,” Frank said. “It had to have been hard on him.

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