Monday, May 16, 2011

Test of Truth

I am always amazed at how two people can look at the same glass of water and one sees it as half full and the other as half empty...and find it fascinating that two people can read the same words on a page and comprehend two totally different messages.

With the glass of water, it is neither half full nor half empty, it simply is what it is...all depending on your perspective. The words on the page are exactly the same for both readers; how the words are interpreted depends on the lens through which they are viewed.

Like many of you, I have found that for every individual who steps out from the crowd and attempts what many view as difficult, there are plenty of individuals who will stand back and laugh when the doer stumbles, carp when they speak, and scoff when they write. Any doer has been "tested" by these critics.   

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States had this to say about the critic in his "Man in the Arena" speech delivered April 23, 1910.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

While researching and writing SEAL of Honor I learned from the life and wisdom of Michael Murphy that the major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Time To Reflect...

Last weekend was a great tribute to a fallen warrior--LT Michael Murphy, however; it was so much more than that. As Maureen Murphy, LT Murphy's mother and ship's sponsor so appropriately noted in her remarks, "even though the ship will bear Michael's name, it will carry the spirit of all 19 of those those boys killed in Operation Red Wings."

All to often, I think we honor an individual to such an extent that we tend to forget about those who trained and fought with them and most importantly, supported them. The fact is, hundreds of individuals help produce the warriors that were on that mountain in June 2005. Hundreds if not thousands of individuals came together in a united cause that prepared those men for that mission. In any endeavor, successful or not, there are many people who work behind the scenes to make sure the equipment is ordered, correctly assembled, available when and where it is needed, coordinate and transport where and when needed that never get recognized and are seldom acknowledged.

That is certainly the case with any military mission. Our Special Operations forces are best best of the best, are at the very tip of the spear when it comes to inflicting maximum damage to those who would do us harm.  With that training, education and experience comes a certain degree of confidence; confidence in the fact that you are the best trained and best equipped warriors in the history of warfare.

As I stated in SEAL of Honor, fortunately "there is a difference between confidence and conceit,  commitment and convienence, and character and contrition. It is the SEAL's fundamental difference in thought process and attitude that provides them with confidence, commitment, and character. Thankfully, conceit, convenience, and contrition simply do not apply to the warrior community."

"SEAL's are not maniacal individuals hell-bent on self-destruction.  They have hopes and dreams for themselves and their families just like each of us do...SEALs are acutely aware that freedom is not free.  They understand better than most that everything has a price that must be paid...SEALs give all and ask for nothing. Their reward is coming home to their families and friends, watching them and others enjoy the freedoms they helped secure, ever vigilant that for as long as the Lord tarries, the fight is never complete."

The next time we hear of a great military achievement, let us remember all those unsung heroes behind the scenes that made it possible for those out front to get the job done. And when we learn of the death of one or more of our warriors, let us mourn their loss, our loss, but let us not concentrate how these warriors died, but celebrate how they lived.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SEAL of Honor Media Appearances

Dan Murphy was a guest on today's Fox & Friends and author Gary Williams was interviewed by Brian Thomas on 55KRC.  Dan will be a guest on the Michael Smerconish Show in Philadelphia on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Monday, May 9, 2011

SEAL of Honor Christening Photographs on Flickr!

We have over 100 christening photographs with many more to come up on Flickr.  See the link on the SEAL of Honor FB page.

Former SECNAV Donald Winter speaks at the Maine Maritime Museum

I was one of about 75 invited guests to have the opportunity to join former SECNAV Dr. Donald Winter as he spoke to the Casco Bay Navy League regarding the process involved of naming of U.S. Navy ships. Holding a Ph. D. in physics, Dr. Winter served as the 74th Secretary of the Navy under President George W. Bush and is one of the most personable and genuine people I have ever met. Dr. Winter wrote a heartfelt endorsement for SEAL of Honor and I am honored to call him a friend. 

Mast Stepping Ceremony Michael Murphy-DDG112 - May 6, 2011

Placing a coin at the step, or base, of the mast of a newly constructed ship is a custom still retained as wooden ships have become steel. This tradition during ship building had its origin with the ancient Greeks and Romans. As legend has it upon dying, it was customary to place coins in the mouths of the dead in the belief that this would ensure payment to Charon for ferry passage across the River Styx and into the afterlife. Because of this, when ships were sent off to battle, enough money was placed in the bottom of the mast to ensure the entire crew had enough money to pay Charon for passage in the event they did not return. As a navy, being steeped in customs and traditions the ritual has survived. The coins are placed in the mast today but now represent and symbolize certain aspects of the ship's birth and a gesture of safe passage for the crew.

The Michael Murphy's mast box contains the following items:
  • Three United States Quarters to represent:
               State of New York (2001) LT Murphy's home state
               State of California (2005) Year of Operation Red Wings
               State of Washington (2007) Year LT Michael Murphy earned the Medal of Honor
  • One United States Dime (2000) to represent the year LT Murphy was commissioned as a United States Naval Officer.
  • One United States Nickle (2002) to represent the year that LT Muprhy attained his SEAL qualification.
  • Twenty United States Pennies to represent the birth year of each of the members of Operation Red Wings.
  • One United States Penny to represent the birth year of Ms. Maureen Murphy, LT Murphy's mother
  • One United States Penny to represent the birth year of Mr. Daniel Murphy, LT Murphy's father.
The coin denominations sum is 112 and represents the ship's hull number. Additionally there are a nuymber of commerative coins and memorabelia in the Mast Stepping box.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's All About Team

LT Michael Murphy was all about TEAM.  That is why the longest chapter in SEAL of Honor:  Operation Red Wings and the Life of LT Michael P. Murphy, USN is about all 19 of those of our Navy SEALs and Army Nightstalkers KIA on June 28, 2005...and all 19 initials are welded into the keel-plate of the USS Michael Murphy. 

SEAL Sacrifices Since 9/11

As we justly celebrate the heroic actions of our nation's most elite warriors, let us also take this opportunity to remember the ultimate sacrifices of the Navy SEALs who have been killed in the Global War on Terror:

Neil C. Roberts                   
Matthew J. Bourgeois          
Thomas E. Retzer                
David M. Tapper                
Brian J. Ouellette                 
Matthew G. Axelson           
Danny P. Dietz                    
Michael P. Murphy             
Jacques J. Fontan               
Daniel R. Healy                  
Erik S. Kristensen              
Jeffrey A. Lucas                 
Michael M. McGreevy, Jr. 
Shane E. Patton,                
James Suh                         
Jeffrey S. Taylor                
Jason Frewald                   
John W. Marcum              

Marc A. Lee                  
Michael A. Monsoor      
Joseph C. Schwedler     
Jason D. Lewis              

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SEAL of Honor now on Twitter!

Many thanks to our new Twitter Page Administrator Jo Lombardi and of course, a big Hooyah to Kim Wolfert our incomprable Facebook Page Administrator. 

Navy SEALs - America's Most Elite Warriors

Have a question about our Navy SEALs?  Do you want to know more about our nation's most elite warriors?  The SEAL of Honor website has all the answers and links.  Both the "Home" and "Resources" tab will provide you with a host of resources.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Welcome Aboard!

Team Murphy would like to welcome our newest member...Jo Lombardi. Jo is a member of Soldier's Angels on Long Island, has been a long-time friend of the Murphy family and assists every year with the annual 5K Run/Walk and has selflessly given of her time to coordinate local booksigning events. Jo will be our Twitter Page Administrator. Welcome Aboard Jo.

From The Family of Senior Chief Dan Healy

     The Healy family thanks God that Osama bin Laden no longer walks this earth.
     This man put into motion the events that killed thousands on September 11, 2001 and which eventually culminated, for us, in the death of my son, Dan Healy in Afghanistan when his rescue helicopter with seven other Navy SEALs and eight Army Nightstalkers was shot down as they were trying to save four other SEALs on the ground.
     We understand that this does NOT mean that the War on Terror is over, but at least the "Head of the Snake" has been cut off!  Other radical Muslims, who he has tainted with his vicious, scewed outlook, will most likely retaliate throughout the world but we WILL prevail!  More than that, we MUST prevail.
     When we have young men like my son and so many others who haven't hesitated in sacrificing their lives for our safety then we can rest assured that our democratic way of life will continue despite attacks from within and without.
     How proud we are of our men and women who completed this decade long mission. Thank you. God bless you and God bless America.

Natalie Healy
Exeter, N.H.
Gold Star Mother of Dan Healy, U.S. Navy SEAL
KIA Afghanistan, June 28, 2005

They're Going Fast!

With the news of the death of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs, the Murphy family has been deluged by the media as well as several Operation Red Wings families. 

Amazon has completely sold out of the hardcover edition of SEAL of Honor and the paperback edition is #1 at the Naval Institute Press. 

A Message from Gold Star Mother Natalie Healy

This morning I received an e-mail from Natalie Healy, mother of Navy SEAL Senior Chief Dan Healy who was killed on June 28, 2005 in Operation Red Wings regarding the death of Osama bin Laden:

   It seemed like a normal Sunday night- I was just waiting to see who would be fired on Celebrity Apprentice when they broke into the show announcing the President would be speaking shortly. Many scenarios rushed through my mind but nothing of this magnitude. It was the LAST thing I expected because, frankly, Osama seemed to be on the back burner in this War on Terror. I imagined him in a cave in Pakistan or perhaps even dead. Halleluyah!!! Justice is served.
   I was up until after one a.m. just trying to absorb this surprising, unexpected news when WMUR TV called for an interview but there was still much that I hadn't heard at that point. My emotions were racing , I called Danny's sister, Jen in California and she had just gotten the word from another SEAL. His other sister, Shannon, is on vacation at Myrtle Beach so I''l talk to her later today. It was a short night- my phone started ringing at 6:48 this morning.
   During this time my emotions ran the gamut between being stunned, amazed and strangely sad. When the news first broke I knew it had to be Special Forces and/or Navy SEALs but it wasn't until my friend, Marguerite, called me this morning in tears and said, "It was the Navy SEALs who got him" that I burst into tears.
   As most of you know I normally don't do that but the overwhelming pride, gratitude and relief I felt caused that instant reaction. Its seems like I've been holding my breath since the day Danny died. I didn't know it until today when Dan's teammate took out this evil man whose demented philosophy set into action events that ultimately resulted in my son's death.
   As Deb Lee, another SEAL mom said she has no doubt that they had help from their fellow warriors in heaven- like our Danny and her son, Marc and Donna and Steve Hardy's son, Nate. I am so proud of them all and wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that they had something on them reminding them of their slain SEAL brothers and if not their on their bodies definately in their hearts.
   Once, frustrated with the power to change our lives that Osama bin Laden had , I asked Danny while he was in Afghanistan, "Will you just get him, please?" He said they were trying. Then June 28 happened. Five years later his teammates completed the mission. It was full circle from Sept. 11 to now and the sense of justice being served is enormous. I am grateful that our mens' courage and strength prevailed.

God Bless You All, God Bless America.


Natalie, you speak for all of us. We are so proud of all those who gave all they had so others might live.  I am looking forward to seeing you at the christening of the USS Michael Murphy.

Navy SEALs...When You Care To Send Only The Very Best

A platoon sized element of SEAL Team SIX, also known as DEVGRU executed a flawless mission to  bring Osama bin Laden to justice...justice meaning death. With over 3,200 Americans of the World Trade Center, Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 serving as the judge, a platoon of SEALs as the jury and a single SEAL as executioneer, bin Laden literally lost his head in the battle and after identification confirmation was buried at sea and returned to the depths of hell from which he came.

Let this serve notice on all who would do us harm, we will pay any price, endure any burden and wait vigantly for the right time to execute justice. On September 11, 2001, freedom was attacked and since that day freedom was defended "at a time of our choosing."  As President Bush said, our fight against terrorism does not end with al-Quada. We still have much work to do

As we pause to reflect on the good news of victory over evil, let us keep in mind the thousands of our nation's best who gave the ultimate sacrifice to make this day happen. I am sure the news of bin laden's death is bittersweet to the families; but to them I say, raise your head high, shoulders back and look the world in the eye. It was your sons and daughters that made it happen. You better than most understand the real cost of freedom as you have paid the most for it. Let us strive not only to be the beneficiaries of their service but faithful stewards of their ultimate sacrifice.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

bin Laden Brought To Justice!

It took 10 years but the head of the snake has been severed.  But let us not delude ourselves, the radicals will attempt to ramp up their terrorist efforts. Let us continue to be ever vigilant! For LT Murphy and all those killed in the fight against terrorism, freedom was attacked and freedom has been defended. God Bless all those who defend freedom.