War on Terror

Warship Named for Navy Seal Michael Murphy

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A U.S. warship will be christened on Saturday in the name of Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy Seal who died in battle in Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy had previously been posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor -- the military's highest award.

Murphy and three of his fellow Seals were pinned down in a mountainside area, outnumbered by 100 Taliban fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s.

Murphy knew his team needed help, so he pulled out his satellite phone and walked into a clearing to get reception to call for reinforcements. He was hit during that call, but he got his message across, and even said "thank you" as he signed off, according to the Associated Press.

Murphy continued the two-hour fight, but when it was all over, he was dead, along with two of his fellow Seals. Murphy's best friend, Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell, was the lone survivor.

Making this story even more tragic, 16 rescuers -- eight additional SEALs and eight members of the Army's elite "Night Stalkers" -- were killed when their helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade. It was the largest single-day loss in naval special warfare history.

Murphy's father Dan said it didn't surprise him that his son put himself in harm's way and was courteous even after being shot.

"That was Michael. He was cool under fire. He had the ability to process information, even under the most difficult of circumstances. That's what made him such a good SEAL officer," Dan Murphy said.

Michael Murphy's nickname was "The Protector," earned when he was in elementary school in Patchogue, New York. One time, he fought bullies who were picking on a special-needs child, and another time, he intervened when other kids were picking on a homeless man.

His mother Maureen said he son's view was that there are "bullies in the world and people who're oppressed in the world. And he said, 'Sometimes they have to be taken care of,'" she said.

The warship ceremony will take place on what would have been Murphy's 35th birthday in Bath, Maine, where the U.S.S. Michael Murphy is being built.