Two years after his death in Afghanistan, class of ’94 graduate Lt. Michael Murphy was awarded the nation’s highest battlefield award, The Medal of Honor. Lt. Murphy was awarded this honor posthumously after losing his life in a fierce firefight on the mountains of Afghanistan. Murphy was 29 at the time of his death and becomes the first Medal of Honor winner in Afghanistan and the first sailor recipient since the Vietnam Conflict. Murphy is only the 18th Long Islander to receive this award which was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress. Recipients must show an “act of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades.”
Murphy was a Navy SEAL in June of 2005 when he and three other Navy SEALS were inserted by helicopter onto a remote mountain in Afghanistan in search of a high ranking member of the Taliban, Ahmad Shah. Upon being discovered by a wandering goat herder who blew their cover, the group was quickly surrounded by 50 guerilla fighters. Outnumbered and fighting on impossible terrain, the four SEALS tried to fend off a three directional attack. Although already wounded and facing heavy fire, Lt. Murphy rushed into an open field in a final attempt to get help for his men. He was killed by sniper fire. The lone survivor of the incident, PO Marcus Lattrell, called Murphy “an iron-souled warrior of colossal, almost unbelievable courage. Murphy displayed an extreme act of valor when he raced into an open field in a last-ditch effort to call for help and save his fellow SEALS.”
Lt. Murphy’s parents, who still reside in Patchogue, and his brother, John a class of 2004 graduate, will attend a ceremony at the White House on Oct. 22nd, 2007, to receive the star-shaped bronze emblem suspended from a blue ribbon. Murphy’s father, Daniel, himself a Vietnam veteran, says he is very proud of his son and what he accomplished. He said he has no regrets except that his son lost his life at such a young age.
The PMCT is proud of their graduate, Lt. Michael Murphy, in receiving this honor from Pres. Bush. In addition, PMCT extends its sympathies to his family and all the teachers in the Pat-Med district who touched the life of this incredible young man and contributed to his formative years.
President Bush, right, presents the Medal of Honor, posthumously honoring Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue, N.Y. Murphy, who died before his 30th birthday, is the fourth Navy SEAL to earn the award and the first since the Vietnam War. (AP Photo / October 22, 2007)
President Bush, right, escorts Maureen Murphy, center, mother of Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, after presenting the Medal of Honor, posthumously honoring her son for combat in Afghanistan. Following behind them is Murphy's father Daniel Murphy, left. (AP Photo / October 22, 2007)
President Bush, right, shakes hands with Daniel Murphy, the father of Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy, the first member of the armed forces who died in Afghanistan to receive the Medal of Honor. (AP Photo / October 22, 2007)
Photo of Navy Seal Michael P. Murphy as he appears in the 1994 Patchogue Medford High School year book.
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