A Navy SEAL from Long Island who was killed while leading a reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines in Afghanistan will receive the nation’s highest military award for valor _ the Medal of Honor, President Bush announced Thursday.
Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, is the first armed forces service member to receive the Medal of Honor for combat in Afghanistan, the Navy said Thursday. The medal is the nation’s highest military award for valor in action against an enemy force.
Two Medals of Honor have been awarded posthumously in the Iraq war: Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, who was killed in 2004 after covering a grenade with his helmet; and Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who was killed in 2003 after holding off Iraqi forces with a machine gun before he was killed at the Baghdad airport.
President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Murphy’s parents at a White House ceremony on Oct. 22
His sacrifice reminds us of the dangers the men and women of our Armed Forces face in order to defend our nation," said Rep. Timothy Bishop, a Democrat from Long Island. "I can think of no one more deserving of this medal today. It can never make up for his loss, but it extends the honor which he and his family so well deserve."
According to a Navy citation, Murphy and three fellow SEALs were searching for a terrorist in the Afghan mountains on June 28, 2005, when their mission was compromised after they were spotted by locals, who presumably reported their presence and location to the Taliban.