SEALs go through their infamous Hell Week during their training, when physical stress amid mental duress and sleep deprivation breaks nearly all strong, smart men. This past week, it seems, we have all been through SEAL Week.
And it’s not over yet: Saturday morning the Navy will christen USS Michael Murphy, a guided-missile destroyer, in Bath, Maine. Lieutenant Murphy was a SEAL killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. He died in Asadabad, some 60 miles northeast of the Jalalabad base where his fellow SEALs took off to take out Osama bin Laden. Don’t think some of them weren’t thinking of him as they zipped east toward their target in Operation Neptune Spear.
The statement supporting the awarding of the Medal of Honor to Murphy notes that all four members of his SEAL team had been wounded in a firefight and needed help:
Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men. Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire. This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, Lt. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.