Marvin Rex Young
Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
Odessa, Texas
May 11, 1947 to August 21, 1968
MARVIN R YOUNG is on the Wall at Panel W47, Line 24

Marvin R Young
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Marvin R Young


Marvin R Young


Marvin R Young


Marvin R Young


10 Apr 2001

Shortly before 7 AM on 21 August 21 1968 C Company 1/5 Inf departed Dau Tieng for a reconnaissance in force operation through the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation. C Company was to operate approximately 1 kilometer south of Highway 239, while the 1/5 Recon Platoon, the 3rd Brigade CRIP Platoon, and one twin 40mm "Duster" were to sweep the highway itself, paralleling C Company's movement through the rubber plantation.

Just after 11 AM C Company began receiving sniper fire, followed by increasingly heavy automatic weapons and RPG fire. At 1140 the Recon Platoon sighted hundreds of enemy soldiers moving south to engage C Company. The Recon force engaged the enemy with .50 caliber machine guns and the Duster's 40mm cannons but were unable to break up the attack against C Company.

In the heavy fighting which ensued, C Company suffered 17 men killed in action and 21 wounded in action. Staff Sergeant Marvin R. Young received the Medal of Honor and SP4 Michael R. Mangan the Distinguished Service Cross for their efforts in support of their comrades. Additional information regarding the fighting, which continued on 22 and 23 August, is available on the 5th Infantry site .

The President of the United States
in the name of the Congress of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Staff Sergeant
United States Army

for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt Young distinguished himself at the cost of his life while serving as a squad leader with Company C. While conducting a reconnaissance mission in the vicinity of Ben Cui, Company C was suddenly engaged by an estimated regimental-size force of the North Vietnamese Army. During the initial volley of fire the point element of the 1st Platoon was pinned down, sustaining several casualties, and the acting platoon leader was killed. S/Sgt Young unhesitatingly assumed command of the platoon and immediately began to organize and deploy his men into a defensive position in order to repel the attacking force. As a human wave attack advanced on S/Sgt Young's platoon, he moved from position to position, encouraging and directing fire on the hostile insurgents while exposing himself to the hail of enemy bullets. After receiving orders to withdraw to a better defensive position, he remained behind to provide covering fire for the withdrawal. Observing that a small element of the point squad was unable to extract itself from its position, and completely disregarding his personal safety, S/Sgt Young began moving toward their position, firing as he maneuvered. When halfway to their position he sustained a critical head injury, yet he continued his mission and ordered the element to withdraw. Remaining with the squad as it fought its way to the rear, he was twice seriously wounded in the arm and leg. Although his leg was badly shattered, S/Sgt Young refused assistance that would have slowed the retreat of his comrades, and he ordered them to continue their withdrawal while he provided protective covering fire. With indomitable courage and heroic self-sacrifice, he continued his self-assigned mission until the enemy force engulfed his position. By his gallantry at the cost of his life and in the highest traditions of the military service, S/Sgt Young has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit and the U.S. Army.

Sergeant Young had been wounded twice before, on 7 Dec 1967 and on 1 Feb 1968. At the time of his death he was within two months of completing his tour in Vietnam.


by his comrades in the
5th Infantry

4 Sep 2004

I played pony league baseball with Rex Young. He was quite an athlete. He played guard on his high school football team and catcher on the baseball team. I always thought Rex could have written his own ticket in baseball, for a catcher, he had the arm. Rex was a very unselfish guy, as shown by his award of the Medal of Honor. He gave his best in everything he did, whether it was in sports or in the military. Rex never waivered and despite overwhelming circumstances, he was there to give his life so others could live.

Rex is buried at the Sunset Memorial Garden's Cemetery in Odessa, Texas. His sister, Margaret Lorraine, passed away in January 2000 and she now rests next to him. One row over and about 50 feet away rests another Medal of Honor recipient, Alfred Mac Wilson. Rex also rests among many other Odessans who perished in Vietnam. These were friends and classmates. Rex is honored by his community and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.

I first learned of Rex's death when I was in Vietnam. I still have the newspaper article in my high school annual from our local paper that announced his death. I was not too far away from where he was killed, yet in Vietnam, a short distance was magnified.

From a friend before and during Basic Training,
Billy M. Brown

29 Mar 2007

I spent a Sunday afternoon with Mrs. Marylyn McDonald, Rex's mother. She provide me with some pictures of Rex in Vietnam that are now a part of his memorial tribute at the Permian Basin Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. She informed me that Rex's paternal cousin, WO1 Stephen Andrew Young of Las Cruces, New Mexico perished in Vietnam on 8-9-69, almost one year after Rex's death. He is buried at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso, Texas.

I was contacted by Tom Frame of Bedhurst, Pa. Tom was a squad leader that day in the Ben Cui Plantation. I was able to put him in touch with Rex's mother for an emotional reunion.

Rex's mother is the sole surviving member of the immediate family. Rex's father, older brother and sister are deceased.

Our Congressional Representative, the Honorable Larry Combest of Midland, Texas, who was a 1966 graduate of Permian High School, Rex's high school, has introduced legislation to have the Northeast Post Office in Odessa to be renamed the SSG Marvin Rex Young Post Office.

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

30 Dec 2004

I served that day with Rex Young, Michael Mangan, and all the others. I remember that Rex was one of the most respected men in the company, and surely still is. God Bless him and all the brave young men who gave their lives that day. God Bless James Bowden who was a fairly close buddy of mine. We came "in country" at the same time.

From a comrade and Vietnam infantryman, C-1-5,
Lawrence E. Marc-Aurele

28 Oct 2006

"Al di la" means you are far above me, very far
Al di la, as distant as the lovely evening star
Where you walk flowers bloom
When you smile all the gloom turns to sunshine
And my heart opens wide
When you're gone it fades inside and seems to have died.

Al di la,
I wondered as I drifted where you were
Al di la,
the fog around me lifted,
there you were
In the kiss that I gave was the love I had saved for a lifetime
Then I knew all of you was completely mine.

From an old friend.
E-mail address is not available.

09 Jan 2007

I am in 12th grade at Hatboro-Horsham High School and had to do a school project in my 12th grade English class. I was searching around and came across Marvin Rex Young's page and blog and saw what a brave person he was! I learned many things from this project. In September when I went to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington D.C., I went and left there knowing barely any information. This project helped me learn lots of information about the Vietnam Wall. Also, it allowed me to research a very good looking, brave, inspiring person. His accomplishments in life and his death are reflected in the blogs on his website. Marvin achieved some amazing things. He was believed to be the first Odessan to ever receive the Medal of Honor, which is the highest tribute paid to any American.

Other rewards he received were the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Republic of Vietnam Military Merit Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. His lasting influences include that he was gallant and brave in the face of unspeakable danger. He was willing to risk his life well above and well beyond the call of duty. The life lesson that I learned from Marvin Rex Young is that sometimes you have to risk your life for others and for yourself. Marvin Rex Young made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and he was proud to serve in the U.S. Army.

From a student.
E-mail address is not available.

19 Aug 2007

Rex Young was one of my classmates at Odessa Permian. Rex was a likeable and humble person who excelled at everything he did including sports. God Bless you, Rex.

From a friend,
Gene Hays
2 C R 326, Oxford, MS 38655


Notes from The Virtual Wall

The men who died that day were
  • C Company:
    • PFC Bruce E. Bartlett, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • CPL James L. Bowden, Louisburg, NC
    • CPL Edward V. Coffey, Richmond Hill, NY
    • CPL Jose R. Colon-Rivera, Cayey, PR
    • SP4 Jerry W. Combest, Wylie, TX
    • PFC Richard A. Damschen, Bremerton, WA
    • PFC Gary L. Dobbins, Akron, OH
    • CPL James L. Harbottle, Flagstaff, AZ
    • SFC Mainor D. Lang, Savannah, GA
    • PFC David W. Ledbetter, Piedmont, AL
    • SP4 Michael R. Mangan, Costa Mesa, CA (Dist Svc Cross)
    • PFC Hubert W. Martin, Oakman, AL
    • PFC Jesus Rivera, New York, NY
    • PFC James E. Rush, Preston, MS
    • PFC Delbert R. Stogsdill, Detroit, MI
    • SSG Marvin R. Young, Odessa, TX (Medal of Honor)

  • HHC:
    • PFC Edward J. Dull, Taunton, MA (Medic with C/1/5)

SSG Young received the Bronze Star with "V" for an engagement in February 1968, and received posthumous awards of the Republic of Vietnam's Military Merit Medal and Cross of Gallantry with Palm, both presented to his family in August 1970.

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