Students Seek Recognition for Local Hero

Thursday, May 22nd 2008, 4:50 pm
By: News On 6

At the Sand Springs Museum and Cultural Center there is an exhibit on U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Billie Hall who was killed March 9, 1966 in Vietnam.

Billie moved to Sand Springs when he was three and was raised by his mother at the Widows Colony after the death of his father a World War II veteran. Billie volunteered to serve a tour in Vietnam as a medic with the Green Berets.

"He saw all of his friends coming back and talking and he felt like he had to go, it was something he needed to do for himself," said Janice Hall Billue, Sgt. Hall's widow.

When his squad came under attack, shrapnel severed both of Sergeant Hall's legs. Refusing any treatment but tourniquets, he continued to treat injured soldiers for the next four hours until he died of his own injuries and blood loss.

On display in Sand Springs are Sgt. Hall's boots and helmet and a number of medals such as the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross awarded posthumously.

Many in Sand Springs believe Hall deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor.

"His service and what he did that day was so amazingly beyond the call of duty that it cries out for the nation's highest award,"  Bob McFarland American Legion Post 17, Sand Springs said.

At Sand Spring's Garfield Elementary School, where Billie Hall once went to school, the fourth graders in Joyce Smith's class read accounts of his heroism that day.

"They were very struck by it emotionally, the work that he went through, the trauma that he suffered and the dedication to his job and the men that worked with him." said Joyce Smith.

"They had read all the articles about Billie Hall, became interested and came to the exhibit here at the museum, saw the exhibit and was so impressed they wanted to know what they could do to help Billie's cause and that's how the letter writing campaign came to be."  Bob McFarland said.  "I hope that the people in Washington D.C. who are voting on the Congressional Medal will be as impressed and moved by these letters as we were at the American Legion and finally move forward to have him recognized for what he did that day in Vietnam."

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By Video Journalist Chris Howell