Navy Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy Died June, 2005 Serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. Lt. Murphy 29, of Patchogue, N.Y.; assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; killed June 28 while conducting counter-terrorism operations in Kunar province, Afghanistan. Coalition forces located his remains while conducting a combat search-and-rescue operation July 4 in Kunar province.
Murphy was the leader of a four-man SEAL reconnaissance unit that secretly infiltrated into the Hindu-Kush mountains on June 27, 2005. Ambushed on the 28th by overwhelming Taliban forces, Murphy valiantly climbed into the open onto high ground to make an electronic call for rescue. Wounded, he fought on, allowing one member of his squad to escape, before he himself was killed. Murphy’s remains were found during a combat search and rescue operation, July 4, 2005. Lt. Michael Murphy was awarded the MOH on October 27, 2007. _________________________________________________________
FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY AND INTREPIDITY AT THE RISK OF HIS LIFE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY AS THE LEADER OF A SPECIAL RECONNAISSANCE ELEMENT WITH NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE TASK UNIT AFGHANISTAN ON 27 AND 28 JUNE 2005. WHILE LEADING A MISSION TO LOCATE A HIGH-LEVEL ANTI-COALITION MILITIA LEADER, LIEUTENANT MURPHY DEMONSTRATED EXTRAORDINARY HEROISM IN THE FACE OF GRAVE DANGER IN THE VICINITY OF ASADABAD, KONAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN. ON 28 JUNE 2005, OPERATING IN AN EXTREMELY RUGGED ENEMY-CONTROLLED AREA, LIEUTENANT MURPHY’S TEAM WAS DISCOVERED BY ANTI-COALITION MILITIA SYMPATHIZERS, WHO REVEALED THEIR POSITION TO TALIBAN FIGHTERS. AS A RESULT, BETWEEN 30 AND 40 ENEMY FIGHTERS BESIEGED HIS FOUR-MEMBER TEAM. DEMONSTRATING EXCEPTIONAL RESOLVE, LIEUTENANT MURPHY VALIANTLY LED HIS MEN IN ENGAGING THE LARGE ENEMY FORCE. THE ENSUING FIERCE FIREFIGHT RESULTED IN NUMEROUS ENEMY CASUALTIES, AS WELL AS THE WOUNDING OF ALL FOUR MEMBERS OF THE TEAM. IGNORING HIS OWN WOUNDS AND DEMONSTRATING EXCEPTIONAL COMPOSURE, LIEUTENANT MURPHY CONTINUED TO LEAD AND ENCOURAGE HIS MEN. WHEN THE PRIMARY COMMUNICATOR FELL MORTALLY WOUNDED, LIEUTENANT MURPHY REPEATEDLY ATTEMPTED TO CALL FOR ASSISTANCE FOR HIS BELEAGUERED TEAMMATES. REALIZING THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF COMMUNICATING IN THE EXTREME TERRAIN, AND IN THE FACE OF ALMOST CERTAIN DEATH, HE FOUGHT HIS WAY INTO OPEN TERRAIN TO GAIN A BETTER POSITION TO TRANSMIT A CALL. THIS DELIBERATE, HEROIC ACT DEPRIVED HIM OF COVER, EXPOSING HIM TO DIRECT ENEMY FIRE. FINALLY ACHIEVING CONTACT WITH HIS HEADQUARTERS, LIEUTENANT MURPHY MAINTAINED HIS EXPOSED POSITION WHILE HE PROVIDED HIS LOCATION AND REQUESTED IMMEDIATE SUPPORT FOR HIS TEAM. IN HIS FINAL ACT OF BRAVERY, HE CONTINUED TO ENGAGE THE ENEMY UNTIL HE WAS MORTALLY WOUNDED, GALLANTLY GIVING HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY AND FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM. BY HIS SELFLESS LEADERSHIP, COURAGEOUS ACTIONS, AND EXTRAORDINARY DEVOTION TO DUTY, LIEUTENANT MURPHY REFLECTED GREAT CREDIT UPON HIMSELF AND UPHELD THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government and is bestowed on a member of the armed forces who distinguishes himself “… conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States …” Due to the nature of the award, it is commonly presented posthumously.
“With the Taliban launching its annual spring offensive, Brendan and his platoon started to see more action in May (2010), just as he had predicted in his email to Tom and Janet (Manion). Surrounded by jagged cliffs, extreme poverty, and acute desolation, which many of the younger SEALs had never experienced, it was Brendan’s responsibility to keep them optimistic, focused, and sharp. But considering that the SEALs were sleeping on a (base) ‘in the middle of nowhere,’ thousands of miles from home, setting a positive tone was never an easy task.
“Rather than barking out orders to the SEALs under his command, Brendan was ‘Loon-Dog.’ The enlisted SEALs, or ‘E-Dogs,’ as they were nicknamed, loved working for the 29-year-old lieutenant, because even though Brendan was an officer, he still thought of himself as just one of the guys.
“During his deployment, Brendan spent roughly the equivalent of two full weeks on ‘over watch’ missions above three districts in northern Zabul province, where the lieutenant and SEALs under his command would look down from the cliffs to make sure their brothers in arms operating below were safe from lurking Taliban and al Qaeda fighters. But after only a day or two on the high ground, Brendan was concerned that his primary responsibilities as an officer and squad commander weren’t enough of a contribution to his platoon.
“When there was extra gear to carry, the officer threw it on his back instead of ordering enlisted SEALs to carry it. Regardless of the command structure or rank, Loon-Dog treated everyone with the same respect.
“When things got dicey on the battlefield, however, there was no mistaking who was in charge, like one day when gunfire rang out beneath the over watch position Brendan’s SEAL team had established above a small, Taliban-controlled Afghan village.
“’Incoming!’ Brendan yelled.
“As bullets pounded the mountain rocks that were shielding his team, who took cover as soon as they heard their leader’s unmistakable voice, Brendan’s commanding officer (CO) asked for a status report over the radio.
“‘We’ve got enemy fire coming from just outside the village,’ Brendan said. ‘Nobody’s been hit, and we’re prepping the counterattack.’
‘Sir?’ Brendan repeated what he had said a few times before realizing the signal was dropping in and out, as it had been for most of the day.
“‘Lieutenant,’ the CO repeated. ‘If you copy, call me on the SAT (satellite) phone.’
“As soon as Brendan heard the order, he broke his crouch and stood up. The SAT phone was a few yards in front of the boulder that was protecting him.
“‘Whoa, Loon-Dog,’ exclaimed a surprised fellow SEAL. ‘Be careful, sir.’
“Brendan knew his CO wouldn’t ask him to call unless it was extremely important, and for all he knew, retrieving the satellite phone could be a matter of life and death. Without blinking, Brendan hustled toward the phone, picked it up, and returned to his position as bullets whizzed by.
“‘Loon-Dog … you all right?’ (Brendan’s teammate) said.
“‘I’m OK,’ said Brendan, acting more like he was taking an afternoon stroll than engaging in an intense firefight.
A U.S. Air Force KC-135 aircraft is reflected on the sun visor of a U.S. Navy pilot as he conducts in-flight refueling of his EA-6B Prowler over Afghanistan, Sept. 26, 2005. The Prowler, assigned to the “Garudas” of Electronic Warfare Squadron 134, is on a regular scheduled deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy courtesy photo
Collin Thomas was born on May 2, 1977, in San Diego, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on February 20, 1997, and completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in April 1997. After completing Hospital Corpsman training, Petty Officer Thomas attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at NAB Coronado, California, from April to October 1998, followed by Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and SEAL Qualification Training. He then attended Special Operations Combat Medic training before serving with SEAL Team FOUR at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from February 2000 to December 2004. His next assignment was with SEAL Team TWO at NAB Little Creek from December 2004 to May 2006, followed by service with Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) at Dam Neck Annex, Virginia, from June 2006 until he was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 18, 2010. During the War on Terrorism he deployed to Trans Sahara Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005 and 2006, to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007, and to Afghanistan in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom multiple times. Chief Petty Officer Thomas was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Morehead, Kentucky.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as an Assistant Team Leader while assigned to a Joint Task Force in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM on 18 August 2010. Chief Petty Officer Thomas and his team were conducting a sensitive sift exploitation associated with known armed enemy fighters in the area of operation. Immediately after insertion, the assault force received effective fire from a tree line directly to their East. The force bounded toward the enemy and took multiple casualties on their Northern most flank. Realizing the entrenched enemy had a superior fighting position; Chief Petty Officer Thomas broke cover and led his team on a flanking maneuver to support the Northern element who was engaged in heavy contact. As his team maneuvered, he observed an armed enemy fighter inside a six-foot deep trench that ran the length of the tree line. Chief Petty Officer Thomas, identifying the threat that the enemy posed on the rest of his team, boldly charged and engaged the enemy while being fired upon by an automatic weapon. He eliminated the enemy, but was mortally wounded during the exchange of gunfire. Chief Petty Officer Thomas’ actions directly saved the lives of his teammates. By his bold leadership, courageous actions, and total devotion to duty, Chief Petty Officer Thomas reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Navy SEAL Chief (SOC) Adam Brown was killed in action in Komar Province, Afghanistan on March 17, 2010. In true “Adam Brown Style” he died a true hero, placing himself in the line of fire to protect other members of his unit. Adam’s Special Ops Assault Team was assaulting an enemy compound, an operation Adam had performed many times.
The U.S. Forces were engaging the enemy in a fire fight, when a portion of the U.S. soldiers were pinned down by very heavy fire from the enemy compound. In an effort to protect his men, Adam charged the enemy from a better vantage point, drawing fire away from his pinned down comrades. His selfless action relieved the fire on his men, but it unfortunately resulted in Adam being struck by enemy fire. One other member of the American Team was wounded, but Adam’s heroic action saved the other men. The enemy compound was captured and all enemy combatants were killed in the action.
Adam was a 12 year veteran of the United States Navy, with several tours of duty overseas. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Long before Adam Brown became a member of the elite SEAL Team SIX - the counterterrorism unit that took down Osama bin Laden - there was a fun-loving country boy from Arkansas whose greatest goal had been to wear his high school’s football jersey. An undersized daredevil, prone to jumping off roofs into trees and off bridges into lakes, Adam was a kid who broke his own bones but would never break a promise to his parents … until he grew older, and his family watched that appetite for risk draw him into a downward spiral that eventually landed him in jail.
Adam was a man of extremes, whose determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love and support of his wife. He was a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top tier of the U.S. military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam’s final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.
Anyone who knew Adam would tell you it was important to him that his legacy be remembered and his story be told. He spent the latter part of his life helping those around him haunted by the mistakes he made years earlier. Adam was an incredibly strong christian who loved the Lord and served him until his last, mortal breath. The majority of the members in his unit perished when the Chinook helicopter transporting them was viciously shot down while on a mission in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, only a few short months after Adam’s death. Adam was always the first through the door to clear the way for other members of his team and in classic Adam fashion he was yet again the first through heavens door……only the last door he went through wasn’t filled with darkness and enemies, but light, with his Lord and Savior there to meet him. A light that shines down on all that knew him as a husband, father, friend, and there is no longer a need to be fearless. He’s home.