Maj. Audie Murphy (Arlington, Virginia)
A simple headstone marks the burial of probably the most decorated American soldier who fought during World War II. As a recipient of Medal Honor, the highest US military award for valor, Major Murphy's headstone should have been embellished with gold leaf but he wanted it plain like that of the ordinary soldiers he served with and were buried at the Arlington National Cemetery. At 15, Major Murphy tried to enlist in the US military but was first turned down for being underage. The US navy, its marine corps, and the paratroops also turned him down for being too short and too thin. He was also recommended to serve in the military cooks and bakers school instead while on military training because he looked so young. Major Murphy served a total of 27 months in combat in Europe and is officially credited with killing 243 enemy soldiers and destroying 6 enemy tanks and has been said to have received every available US military medals during World War II. He finally retired from military duty in 1966, died in a plane crash in 1971, and was buried with full military honors at Arlington. Major Murphy's grave is the second most visited grave in Arlington after JFK’s. The small American flag in his grave was placed and is being maintained by a still unidentified admirer. Major Murphy is also a brother of the craft having been accepted by the Freemasons of California and has remained in good standing throughout his life. Taken in 2008 with a Nikon D40 while attending the US International Visitors' Program.