Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Our Nation's Finest













I’m dedicating my blog page today to Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy.

Yesterday, he was awarded this nation’s highest military award for valor in action against an enemy force -- the Medal of Honor.

Lt Murphy was killed by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. He lead a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force. The Navy says Murphy ‘unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life” tried to make contact with headquarters by moving into the open to call for help, then calmly continued to fire back, even after he was shot in the back. The Chinook helicopter with eight SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers sent to rescue them was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing all 16 men on board.

The four SEALs continued fighting in what was a two-hour gunfight, leaving Murphy and Petty Officers 2nd Class Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson dead. The sole survivor was Marcus Luttrell, a corpsman who was blasted over a ridge by a rocket-propelled grenade and knocked unconscious. After nearly a day, local nationals rescued Luttrell. You can read his story in his book, Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.

Michael Murphy's mother says that he would always fight for the underdog and his fellow SEALS remember him as uncompromising, steady, and professional.

Lt. Murphy becomes the first Navy service member to receive that distinction for actions in the war on terrorism. He is the third armed forces service member to receive the medal since the beginning of Operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom. Murphy is also the fourth Navy SEAL in history to earn this award, and the first since Vietnam.

Michael was also awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon and National Defense Service Medal.

I’ve blogged about Michael before on myspace.com/pattianncolt, inspired and touched by his willingness to give his last breath for his men, his mission, and his country. Please take a moment and remember Michael, and his family and fiancé today.

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