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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Unsung Glory #3
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It’s Monday, so it’s time for another of LC Crunchie 0311’s excellent posts praising the heroes that the MSM wants us to forget about. In this case, the New York Slimes (may their stock value continue to plummet) took the “prize” for refusing to mention today’s hero with a single word.

But hey, we’re sure that the New York Seditionists have a staff full of Medal of Honor recipients (awarded for bravely not passing out from paper cuts or withstanding the unholy terror of brain freeze at the water cooler), so it’s probably no big deal to them.

Anyway, who cares about the New York Al-Qaeda Times? Today is about Lt Michael Murphy.

Take it away, LC Crunchie:


LT Michael “Mikey” Murphy
It was a warm summer afternoon of June 28, 2005 in the Konar province of Afghanistan. Laying in hiding on a ridge of the 10,000 foot tall Sawtalo Sar Mountain was a four man team of Navy SEALs led by 29 year old Lt. Michael Murphy from Patchogue NY. Also in Lt. Murphy’s SEAL Team 1 of elite warriors were Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny Dietz, 25, a communications expert from Colorado, Petty Officer Matt Axelson, 29, a scratch golfer from Cupertino CA known as the “perfect sniper”, and Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, 29, a karate expert from Texas, whose back bore a tattoo of half of a trident, the SEAL insignia. His twin brother, also a SEAL, wore the other half.

Their mission, dubbed Operation Red Wing was to capture or kill a high ranking jihadist know as Ahmad Shah. Under the nom de guerre of Muhammad Ismail, the 30 something year old terrorist led a group of Pashtun fighters known as the “Mountain Tigers”.

Before it was over, the mission would result in the worst loss of life in the SEALs 45 year history, with a total of 11 SEALS killed in action, along with eight soldiers from the Army’s 16th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), the “Nightstalkers”.

Lt. Murphy, who came from a family of police and firefighters and had been raised to protect others, had been dubbed the “Defender” while in high school when he had jumped in the middle of a fight to help a cornered and outnumbered student. Now, secreted away on a mountainside high in the Hindu Kush, he was defending his nation as one of Americas most elite warriors. He carried little with him, his rifle, ammunition, high tech communication and surveillance equipment, and some high energy food. Sewn into his uniform was the red shoulder patch of a New York City firehouse in East Harlem.

As they lay in wait, an Afghan shepherd walked by, following his herd of goats. They stared at each other, no words being spoken, and the shepherd walked on.

Relying on stealth to succeed where their numbers would fail, their mission was now compromised. A decision had to be made as to what to do about the shepherd. If he were allowed to leave he may tell Taliban terrorists they were there. The team’s tactical situation prevented him being taken prisoner. Aborting meant risking the lives of the extraction personnel and allowing a dangerous terrorist to remain free and potentially kill many more innocent people, including Americans.

“You know what?” Murphy said to the others, “We’re not murderers.” The shepherd would be spared and they would take their chances.

It is unknown if the shepherd alerted the Taliban or not, but at 2:00 PM the SEAL team found themselves surrounded by several dozen heavily armed fighters. They knew the terrain and were able to slip in and choke off the teams escape routes.

Realizing they were trapped the four men began a running gun battle with the enemy, making leaps of 20-30 feet at a time down the steep, heavily wooded mountain side.

Desperately needing open space to radio out a distress call, Petty Officer Dietz, the communications expert, broke cover. He was instantly shot in the hand, shattering his thumb.

Seeing Dietz wounded, Lt. Murphy, also wounded, darted out from cover and ran back up the mountain to a clear area, exposing his self to more enemy fire to make the call back to Bagram Air Base.

“Hornets Nest!” he yelled into the radio, as he was hit in the back. Despite his wounds, he continued to exchange fire with the enemy until he had completed the call for help. He then ran back down to his team’s position to rejoin their raging gun battle.

An MH47 Special Operations Chinook from 16th SOAR, carrying eight additional SEALs and eight “Nighthawk” SpecOps flyers, was inbound, flanked by two attack choppers. Unable to bite enough of the thin mountain air, and loaded down with armor and ammo, the Apaches soon lagged behind the Chinook. Denied the gunship’s protection, the Chinook pilots pushed on anyway. As the large chopper approached the scene of the firefight, an RPG slammed into its side. The team’s salvation exploded and crashed, killing all 16 men aboard.

Employing small unit tactics, the team began a fighting withdrawal down the hill. Remaining behind in a hailstorm of fire after being hit repeatedly, Dietz continued to engage the enemy while his teammates pulled back, until he was mortally wounded.

Axelson, also wounded, directed the teammate nearest him to withdraw and attacked the enemy, killing several, until he too fell under a hail of enemy fire.

At one point in the fight Luttrell found him self trapped by enemy fighters. Lt. Murphy charged to his rescue, killing several terrorists.

Then an explosion blew Luttrell down the mountain. It was the last he saw any of the other three team members alive.

It was later determined that in the firefight Dietz was shot 16 times, including hits to both thighs and shoulders, chest, jaw and forehead. Axelson received twenty-two separate gun shot wounds, and Murphy was hit at least seven times, bullets piercing his arm, leg, gut, back, and his left cheek below his eye.

Dazed and semi-conscious, bleeding from several wounds, Luttrell evaded his pursuers for several days. He was found by an Afghan shepherd who managed to convince him that he meant no harm. He was taken in by local villagers, who in keeping with centuries old tradition of providing sanctuary to those in danger, protected him from the Taliban. Refusing to hand him over, at one point the villagers told the gunmen they would have to kill every man in the village to get Luttrell. The shepherd who found him later smuggled a letter written by Luttrell out to nearby Coalition forces, enabling his eventual rescue.

If a shepherd had betrayed them, a shepherd had also saved him.

At 11:00 PM on July 4th a Navy SEAL who had once been Murphy’s commanding officer, and who had been standing vigil with his parents since the news of his missing in action, received a phone call at their home in Patchogue. This one was longer than the normal nightly calls he placed to try and get any current information on Michael’s status. Worriedly, Daniel Murphy, Lt. Murphy’s father, watched him come in and asked “Is everything OK?”

“Mr. Murphy, I’m sorry.” he replied.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Marcus Luttrell, the sole surviving member of the team, was awarded the Navy Cross.

Sonar Technician 2nd Class Danny P. Dietz, and Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, were also awarded the Navy Cross, both posthumously.

The family of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE, Naval Special Warfare Command, will be presented with the Medal of Honor by President Bush on October 22, 2007 at the White House.

His will be the third Medal of Honor awarded for action in The Long War, and the first for action in Afghanistan. All have been posthumous.

“…courageous and selfless heroism, exceptional professional skill, and utmost devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for the cause of freedom.”

26 Responses to “Unsung Glory #3”
  1. LC Rurik Comment by LC Rurik

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    Lieutenant Michael Murphy certainly deserves the MOH, and IHMO so do the other members of his team. For a more detailed telling of the episode, you should read Marcus Luttrell’s memoir, Lone Survivor, which I previously reviewed here.

  2. LC Rurik Comment by LC Rurik

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    And Crunchie, Lieutenant Murphy and his team deserve undivided attention in the first post, but thank you for contributing your excellent report of the situation.

    And BTW, finally a FOIST!, and a second!

  3. Mike M Comment by Mike M

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    From the last paragraph of the Seal Creed:

    Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to
    uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my
    every deed. I will not fail.

    It sounds like those words could have been inspired by Lt. Murphy.

    Outstanding post, Crunchie.

  4. cmblake6 Comment by cmblake6

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    Live on in Valhalla, brother. Well done.

  5. Unregistered Comment by nerbygirl

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    Heroes like this man will never get the credit or media attention that they deserve.

    America is at the Mall while brave men fight.
    God Bless you, Mr. Murphy. I wish I had been blessed to have been in your presence.
    And to your wife and family: Thank you for your sacrifice.
    God bless you all.

  6. Sir Christopher Comment by Sir Christopher

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    Amazing; thanks Crunchie…

  7. ohio right wing nut Comment by ohio right wing nut

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    A hero fighting at the gates of hell protecting a country he loved, even if many don’t respect his sacrifice.

    GOD SPEED.

    Once again Crunch excelleny post.

  8. Radical Redneck Comment by Radical Redneck

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    Great post Crunch! :em69:

  9. Unregistered Comment by irish19

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    Beautiful post! Just thinking of such bravery and courage chokes me up.

  10. Thresher Redux Comment by Thresher Redux

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    Good, I’m glad he finally got it. I thought it a travesty he might only get a Navy Cross.

    Great post, Carl! It’s official, I’m naming my first boy “Michael Murphy”. He’s one of the Strong Men arranged near the feast table in Heaven, the ones that did their work, held their peace, and had no fear to die.

  11. Panzermann403 Comment by Panzermann403

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    Thx for your excellent post, Crunshie.

    And Lt. Murphy ? Off to Valhalla, no doubt. Feast on meat and mead and train for the last day, the day of days. You’ll be among excellent company there, with all those GIs, Landsers, knights, crusaders and vikings.

  12. Unregistered Comment by mindy1

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    I am so glad you did a story on this local man. It was a wonderful post, and he got what he deserved. I wish he would have been alive to get it, but his family now knows they made a hero, someone braver than any screenwriter could fathom. I read the battle scene in Lone Survivor, and am amazed at how they could function after being shot. How do they get that tough. RIP to all the SEALS lost that day:(

  13. LC Draco Comment by LC Draco

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    See you in Valhalla, LT Murphy!!

    Thanks for the awesome post Crunchie!!

  14. Hardclimber54 Comment by Hardclimber54

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    Honour and Valour, such are the values constantly displayed by soldiers such as these. As far as the media is concerned, I wonder what they would write if one of their “freedom fighter” was to “receive its(no typo)just reward”..? One day, they’ll be ask why they chose to turn their back on people such as these for the benefit of goatfuckers…

    Rest soldiers, you’ve more than earn it, but rest in the knowledge that some people will never forget your deeds and will continue to honour your memories…

  15. BigDogg Comment by BigDogg

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    (*wiping tear away*) Awesome story about incredible courage.

    Again, however, just “business as usual” for these unseen heroes. God bless them all.

  16. Unregistered Comment by dasbow

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    I hardly feel worthy to even comment about such a man. Godspeed, LT Murphy.

  17. Unregistered Comment by red_sleeves

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    It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday minutia of life; developing a warped tunnel vision focusing on the trivial and insignificant while losing sight of the truly important things. Not just family and friends but the freedoms we enjoy. Very often, we take these freedoms for granted, assuming they will always be there and forgetting that they were bestowed upon us through sacrifices made by others.

    I think we should consider that our freedoms and rights are not guaranteed by The Constitution; it’s just a piece of parchment. Rather, our freedoms and rights are guaranteed by men such as these and I offer them and their families my eternal gratitude.

    red_sleeves, a grunt corpsman

  18. Hardclimber54 Comment by Hardclimber54

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    red_sleeves

    Very often, we take these freedoms for granted, assuming they will always be there and forgetting that they were bestowed upon us through sacrifices made by others

    Well said, that came from a generous heart, well said indeed…

  19. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    I am simply awed……….

  20. Ten-Ten Comment by Ten-Ten

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    I’ve heard Marcus Luttrell tell this story on several talk shows. The amount of respect he has for Lt. Murphy is immeasureable. Even as Lt. Murphy was on the radio, he was shot in the back, but still said “thank you” to the individual on the other end of the call. Then he resumed the fight. Does this country deserve such brave men? Thank God that they believe so.

  21. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

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    I have heard Petty Officer Luttrell speak also. His quiet and unassuming mannerisms belie an amazing sense of purpose and an even more amazing modesty regarding his own actions during the fight, and his subsequent evasion. He give deserved credit to Lt.Murphy, Petty Officer Dietz, and Petty Officer Axelson, while desiring nine for his self. These mens courage is but one of the character traits that make them truly a cut above the rest. Their modesty, sense of duty, and honor speak even higher of them than the medals they have earned.

    Live your lives well people, for your peace and comfort comes at a high price. Remember those who pay that price.

  22. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    I will, crunchie…I will. In any small way I can. They just broke ground on a veterans memorial, listing every vet that has lived or is living in this humble small town, our names engraved in the stone…from the Civil War ’till now. Yet a small thing, but it is set at an elementary school a block from my house. Try that in San Francisco. We gave what we could financially…as did so many others. I think of the old Marine I see collecting donations for veterans. I’m a sucker, he calls me his buddy, knows I’m good for a twenty. Yet when I told him of the respect I have for the Corps, and how being a squid my best buddy in the military was a grunt, a grunt that died in ‘Nam. He got real quiet, just stood there and thanked me. I wrote letters for our paper thanking vets, one of whom called me, he now back in Afghanistan. The little things meaning so very much, somebody notices, knows and gives a shit. Generally a quiet bunch…but we have been known to raise holy hell at council meetings if anybody dumps on the vets. It never happens twice. After all, our mayor and police chief are both Marines….. So the little things, helping out at a vet hospitals as Dave does, or giving cash and/or time…….or simply just saying thank you. I am in abject awe of such a man as described here……..

  23. LC Joe D,  A&IG/GWN Comment by LC Joe D, A&IG/GWN

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    Thanks Crunchie. A great choice.

    Someone once said this, I don’t know who but I wish it had been me;

    “Our Spartans fight today, with uncommon bravery, though they are despised by many who see them as the cause of barbarity rather than the answer to it. They stand determined against an elusive enemy that chooses the soft target to murder rather than the professional soldier to fight. One day those that demand submission to their prophets and their gods will meet the American version of the Spartan…”

    They met some in LT “Mike” Murphy and his comrades, God Bless ‘em. The wonder is that there are more out there from different homelands, but with the same ideals, ready to step into the breech whilst lesser men snap and bite at their ankles with the freedom to do so bought and paid for by these sturdy souls.

    LC Joe D

  24. Serious Sean Comment by Serious Sean

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    I heard of this before; amazing yet a bit sad. Thank God that we have men such as these on our side.

  25. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

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    Thanks Joe D. I know I promised ya a story about airborne, but when the MOH was announced for Lt. Murphy, it sort of bumped it.

    I’ll have one for ya soon, promise.

    That quote sounds familiar. I recall a similar quote about Marines not being todays Spartans, but the Spartans being the ancient Marines. Wish I could remember all of it.