Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy told his dad he would rather die doing something he loved than spend 30 years sitting at a desk doing something he hates.
“I remember this conversation every time I get depressed and miss my son, and want him back,” said Daniel Murphy, speaking Thursday in the McGann Conference Center as part of SJC Long Island’s Veterans Awareness Week. “He said, Dad, I’m not looking to get killed. But should it happen, know that it happened doing something I love.”
Michael Murphy, who grew up in Patchogue, was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the war in Afghanistan.
“Michael was a born leader from the beginning,” said Daniel Murphy, a combat wounded Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Army. “He always seemed to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. If there’s any leadership lesson you can learn, that’s it.”
A Selfless Protector
Nicknamed Murph the Protector in middle school, Michael lived and died selflessly protecting others. During the Navy SEALs counter-insurgent mission Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, Murphy’s final actions as team leader — depicted in the film “Lone Survivor” — involved stepping out into a clearing while under heavy fire in order to get a signal on a satellite phone so he could alert his unit and get help.
After getting shot, Michael Murphy fell, picked up his phone, and continued talking. He knew what he was doing would get him killed, but he also knew it was the only chance his men had at being saved.
Honoring Lt. Michael P. Murphy
The local community continues to honor the fallen hero.
In Patchogue, there’s the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Post Office, as well as the Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murhpy Campus at Patchogue-Medford High School. Set to open this spring in West Sayville is the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum, which will tell the story of Naval SEALs from World War II through the present. Daniel hopes the museum, located next to the Long Island Maritime Museum, will open May 7, 2020 — what would have been Michael’s 44th birthday.