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October 11, 2007

Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy To Be Posthumously Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor

Murphy becomes only the 3rd serviceman to be recognized with the country’s highest military honor as part of the Global War on Terror and the first for action in Afghanistan.

Murphy, known as “Mikey” to his friends and family, shot and wounded, managed to crawl onto a ridgeline and radio headquarters at the nearby air base for them to send in reinforcements. Taliban fighters were closing in on the team’s position, shooting their weapons and firing rocket-propelled grenades.

“Mikey was ignoring his wound and fighting like a SEAL officer should, uncompromising, steady, hard-eyed, and professional,” Luttrell wrote in his recently published book, Lone Survivor, about his military experiences, his team and the events of that day and the deaths of his teammates, his friends.

The fighting grew more intense, but the team pressed on in the close-quarters battle. At one point, Luttrell wrote, Murphy took his mobile phone, “walked to open ground. He walked until he was more or less in the center, gunfire all around him, and he sat on a small rock and began punching in the numbers to HQ.”

“I could hear him talking,” Luttrell wrote. “ ‘My men are taking heavy fire ... we’re getting picked apart. My guys are dying out here ... we need help.’

“And right then Mikey took a bullet straight in the back. I saw the blood spurt from his chest. He slumped forward, dropping his phone and his rifle. But then he braced himself, grabbed them both, sat upright again, and once more put the phone to his ear.

“ ‘Roger that, sir. Thank you,’ ” Luttrell heard Murphy say, before the lieutenant continued to train fire on the enemy fighters.

“Only I knew what Mikey had done. He’d understood we had only one realistic chance, and that was to call in help,” Luttrell wrote. “Knowing the risk, understanding the danger, in the full knowledge the phone call could cost him his life, Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy, son of Maureen, fiancé of the beautiful Heather, walked out into the firestorm.

“His objective was clear: to make one last valiant attempt to save his two teammates,” he wrote.

You can find more on this American Hero at Blackfive.

Army Sergeant First Class Paul Smith and Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham are the only other Medal of Honor recipients for service in the GWoT. Both were recognized for their actions in Iraq.


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