Odessa Post Office honors soldier killed in the line of duty

by Jacqueline Sit
NewsWest 9

This honor has been a long time coming, more than thirty years since staff sergeant young gave his life fighting in Vietnam.  As of Thursday, this post office will be known as the Staff Sergeant Marvin "Rex" Young Post Office.

"A person with noble qualities, a person with strength and character, the gentleman we're here to honor today Staff Sgt. Marvin "Rex" Young by this definition of a hero will and always will be one of Odessa's revered heroes," Mayor Larry Melton of Odessa, said.

Staff Sergeant Marvin "Rex" Young joined the army after graduating Permian High School, serving his country, fighting for freedom.

"Rex was not only a fine young man, Rex was also a natural born leader," John Snodgrass, a friend who served with "Rex" during the war, said.

A leader who took charge helping his comrades during the war and saving many lives, despite the injuries he suffered in battle.

"As a leader, Rex's concern was that of his men," Snodgrass added.

Comrades who served with 'Rex' pay their respects, while names of others who have passed were also tearfully honored.

Thomas Strawn has never met the hero in his family, but learned about his great Uncle through stories passed down from family members.

"His stories have always been told to me, and it's always been kind of an inspiration to me growing up to strive to be half the man he was," Thomas Strawn, a relative, said.

Today, this soldier's name is part of this post office and it's more than honoring his heroic deeds.  This plaque is a reminder that Staff Sergeant "Rex" and those who risked their lives for their country will never be forgotten.

"If I could speak to him today, I would just tell him thank you.  I would tell him even though I've never met him, he's family and I love him, and I'm thankful for the legacy he had, and left me and my family," Strawn said.

In addition to this building named after him and receiving the Medal of Honor, Staff Sergeant Young was also awarded with several other honors, including three Purple Hearts.