American Hero Recognized For Enormous Sacrifice

Michael Murphy was born in 1976 in the town of Patchogue in Long Island, New York. An adventurous and intelligent boy, he always had a dream of doing something great with his life.

He went to university at Penn State and took political science and psychology. He wanted to know how the world worked and why. The next step seemed to be law school and a brilliant career for this young man.

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Though following graduation from Penn State, Murphy followed an even older dream he’d always had: the dream of being a Navy SEAL (the US Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Teams).

In 2000, he tried to join the SEALS. After intense training and surviving Hell Week, he actually made it in, along with a select few who didn’t ring the bell. He was now a SEAL.

Then, 9/11 happened.

Fighting America’s Battles

The 9/11 attacks plunged this nation into war, the first in Afghanistan to dislodge al Qaeda’s operations being shielded by the Taliban. Following Afghanistan, the United States entered Iraq in 2003 under the claim that dictator Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons.

Murphy fought in Afghanistan in a number of missions. He was well known for wearing an FDNY patch in remembrance of a friend of his who died on 9/11. He went consistently above and beyond in cementing his honor as a SEAL.

By 2005, Murphy was already on his fourth tour and getting ready to go home. The battles he fought had left their mark, but he had a bright future ahead and plans to marry his long-time girlfriend, Heather.

However, in the summer of 2005, it all went to hell during Operation Red Wings. A botched operation to kill a terrorist led to Murphy and three fellow SEALS being stranded behind enemy lines without an evac option.

Along with Matthew G. Axelson, Marcus Luttrell, and Danny Dietz, Murphy was in the high mountains of a remote area of Afghanistan trying to reach an extraction point when hundreds of Taliban fighters attacked his squad.

Lone Survivor

The squad of four was badly outnumbered and outgunned; the Taliban wasn’t about to let them get away.

As shown in the film Lone Survivor, Murphy gave his life at only 29 years of age in order to send out a distress beacon and show their position to responders.

The only survivor of Red Wings was Marcus Luttrell, who wrote a book about it in 2007. Now, a museum is opening in Murphy’s honor in a town near Patchogue on Long Island called Sayville.

The new museum honors the 17th anniversary of Red Wing and the sacrifice and heroism of the SEALS in their long and heroic history.


As Murphy’s dad, Dan, says, this is about recognizing everyone who served and the SEALS, not only Murphy.

This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.

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