Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy

A United States Navy Seal, “Murph’s” leadership and bravery in combat was nothing short of exceptional. He undoubtedly saved the life of the only survivor of his team.

His leadership and courage shone through even before he joined the military. In high school he was known as “The Protector” because in the 8th grade he protected a child with special needs who was being put in a locker by a group of boys.

Murph physically pulled the attackers away and his parents recalled this incident as the only disciplinary call they every received and said they “couldn’t have been prouder”.

He also protected a homeless man by chasing his attackers away. He had all the traits of a courageous and brave man from early on.

After graduation Murphy was accepted into several Law schools but instead attended Seal mentoring sessions at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and then went to Navy Officer Candidate School in Florida. Once commissioned he began Basic Underwater Demolition / Seal training in California. 

In 2005 Murphey was assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE as the officer in charge of Alpha Platoon who then deployed to Afghanistan on Operation Enduring Freedom.

Counter-insurgent mission

This was a counter-insurgent mission in Afghanistan which was to become the deadliest loss of life the SEALS had seen since Vietnam. Three members of the team were all KIA including Murphy as well as 16 men when their helicopter was shot down whilst they attempted to extract the team. 

The 4 man reconnaissance team were tasked to conduct surveillance on a top Taliban leader near the Pakistan boarder. Local goat herders stumbled across the team who let them go and it may have been them who alerted the Taliban who surrounded their position. 

At the cost of his own life, Murphy was able to get a message out to friendly forces of their situation, which prompted reinforcements flown in unfortunately the enemy shot down the helicopter.

Shot 14 Times

Murphy, Dietz, and Axelson were killed in the action. Luttrell was the only U.S. survivor and was eventually rescued, after having wandered in the mountains before being taken in by friendly local Afghan villagers.

Murphy left cover and moved to a clearing away from the mountains, exposing himself to a hail of gunfire in order to get a clear signal for his satellite phone so he could contact headquarters to relay their dire situation and request immediate support for his team.

He dropped the satellite phone after being shot more than 14 times but picked the phone back up and finished the call. Murphy signed off saying “Thank you”,  then continued fighting from his exposed position until he died from his wounds. A hero to the very end.

Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, whose parents Maureen and Daniel accepted the award from the President on October 22nd 2007. Since then he has had many memorials named after him and a Navy destroyer USS Michael Murphy.

May he RIP.

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