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Monday, October 22, 2007

Thank God That Such Men Live

The first Medal of Honor awarded for combat in Afghanistan was presented Monday to the family of a Navy SEAL from Long Island, who gave his life to make a radio call for help for his team.
President Bush awarded the nation's highest military honor for valor on Monday to the family of Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue, N.Y.
"There's a lot of awards in the military, but when you see a Medal of Honor, you know whatever they went through is pretty horrible. You don't congratulate anyone when you see it," said Marcus Luttrell, the lone member of Murphy's team to survive the firefight with the Taliban.

Murphy, Luttrell and two other SEALs were searching for a terrorist in the Afghan mountains on June 28, 2005, when their mission was compromised after they were spotted by locals, who presumably alerted the Taliban to their presence.
An intense gun battle ensued, with more than 50 anti-coalition fighters swarming around the outnumbered SEALs.
Although wounded, Murphy is credited with risking his own life by moving into the open for a better position to transmit a call for help.
Still under fire, Murphy provided his unit's location and the size of the enemy force. At one point he was shot in the back, causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in.

He then returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle. A U.S. helicopter sent to rescue the men was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing all 16 aboard.
By the end of the two-hour gunfight, Murphy and two of his comrades were also dead. An estimated 35 Taliban were also killed. Luttrell was blown over a ridge and knocked unconscious. He escaped, and was protected by local villagers for several days before he was rescued.
"We look at these guys and say, 'What heroes,"' said Murphy's father, Dan Murphy. "These guys look at themselves and say, 'I'm just doing my job.' That's an understatement, but that's the way they view it, and that was Michael's whole life."

Murphy, who died before his 30th birthday, is the fourth Navy SEAL to earn the award and the first since the Vietnam War. Two Medals of Honor have been awarded posthumously in the Iraq war: to Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, who was killed in 2004 after covering a grenade with his helmet, and to Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who was killed in 2003 after holding off Iraqi forces with a machine gun before he was killed at the Baghdad airport.

Thanks to FoxNews for this story.

5 Posts From Readers:

rockync said...

I think that no matter what your position is on war, any war, everyone should be able to get behind the idea that our soldiers deserve honor and support for being the stand up people they are, doing what is asked of them and then going above and beyond. We owe so much to our military over the generations.

TrekMedic251 said...

Local radio talk show host Michael Smerconish has an excellent tribute to Lt Murphy on today's paper. Please visit my site for the link!

swampcracker said...

My prayers and my thanks to the families of Michael Murphy, Jason Dunham, and Paul R. Smith for their terrible sacrifice, and my hopes that all our young people will return soon.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Amen and my thanks for his sacrifice and that of his family.

A true American hero!

heidianne jackson said...

i stand in awe of all our military standing in harms way now, in the past and in the future.

thanks for doing such a fine job in bringing this version of the story...

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