War ship honors fallen Pearl Harbor-based soldier - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

War ship honors fallen Pearl Harbor-based soldier

MAINE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Saturday, the U.S. military honored a Pearl Harbor-based Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan six years ago. A state-of-the-art war ship is now dedicated to a man being hailed as a hero.

It's a distinction rarely bestowed on someone so young – dedicating a ship in the name of 29-year-old Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy.

"Michael would say, ‘Will you cut it out and stop it?'" said Michael's father Dan Murphy.

His parents are as proud as their son, as he was humble.

Lieutenant Murphy and two members of his team were fatally ambushed in 2005 in Afghanistan. Despite two bullets in his back and under heavy enemy fire, Murphy tried to save his fellow SEALs by running into a clearing to call for help. His final, incredibly calm words to his command: "Thank you, sir."

Sixteen other would-be rescuers also died in that operation. It remains the worst single-day loss in the SEALs' valor.

And now, a 500-foot long, five-story high Navy destroyer is named after their son.

The ship's dedication comes during the same week another elite SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden.

This was payback time, without a doubt," said Murphy. "Mike would be extremely proud. They removed a scourge from the Earth."

The Air Force Reserve flight surgeon who recovered Murphy's body in 2005 says he could not miss this day.

"Well I think that will be the symbolic gesture that brings Michael's spirit into the ship," said Josh Appel, Air Force Reserve Flight Surgeon.

Lieutenant Murphy's pride and devotion to the SEALs is expected to mean something special to sailors.

"He was taking care of his teammates and I think that's what will really resonate with the ship's crew, no matter how things go, how tough things get," said Rear Admiral Garry Bonelli of the Navy Special Ops Command. "On the USS Michael Murphy, they can count on each other."

For Murphy's parents, seeing their son's name on the ship's bow was overwhelming.

"Maureen started to cry," said Murphy. "I started to shake, and it grabbed both of us, you know, just right in the heart. Just kind of, ‘Mom, Dad, I'm still here, and I'm still leading the fight and I'm still out there protecting people.'"

It's a tribute for his generation and those to come.

After it's completed and delivered to the Navy, the $1.1 billion war ship will be home ported in Hawaii.


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