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Friday, October 12, 2007

SEAL to Get Posthumous Medal of Honor

Associated Press October 12, 2007GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - A Navy SEAL who
was killed while leading a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan will
receive the nation's highest military award, the Medal of Honor.Lt.
Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue on Long Island, is the first Medal
of Honor recipient for combat in Afghanistan, the Navy said in a
statement Thursday.In late June 2005, Murphy led a four-man
reconnaissance mission east of Asadabad trying to find a key Taliban
leader in advance of a mission to capture or destroy the local militia
leadership. Taliban sympathizers alerted fighters to the SEALs'
positions, and the four men were quickly outnumbered and came under
fire, the Navy said.Even after being wounded, Murphy crawled into the
open to make a radio call for help and still continued to fight, the
Navy said. The call ultimately allowed the rescue of one wounded SEAL
and the recoveries of the bodies of Murphy and two others killed in the
firefight.President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Murphy's
parents at the White House on Oct. 22."I think it is a public
recognition of what we knew about Michael, of his intensity, his focus,
his devout loyalty to home and family, his country and especially to
his SEAL teammates and the SEAL community," Murphy's father, Daniel
Murphy told Newsday for a story published on its Web site.The Medal of
Honor is the nation's highest military award for valor in action
against an enemy force. Murphy is the fourth Navy SEAL to receive the
medal and the first since Vietnam.The other two SEALs killed in the
Afghan firefight, Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny P. Dietz, 25, of
Littleton, Colo., and Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, 29,
of Cupertino, Calif., previously received the Navy Cross, the
second-highest honor.A U.S. helicopter that went to rescue the SEALs
was shot down by enemy fire; 16 SEALs and Army special operations
troops were killed in the crash.The entire battle resulted in the worst
single-day loss of life for Navy Special Warfare personnel since World
War II.Two Medals of Honor have been awarded posthumously in the Iraq

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