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Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue died a hero during a counterterrorism mission in the mountains of Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. But his mother, Maureen Murphy, says her son was her hero long before he wore the uniform.

Michael Murphy showed his devotion to his mother through gifts and letters he sent while serving overseas. Maureen Murphy’s favorite gift was a glass angel figurine. He had sent it in a box with a handwritten message that said, “Momma, your my angel.”

Lt. Michael Murphy's gift sent home to his mother Maureen
Lt. Michael Murphy’s gift sent home to his mother Maureen

He also sent his mother a Valentine’s Day card. Inside he wrote, “Dear Momma, I saw this and had to get it for you. It’s pretty cool and cute, too. I miss you and look forward to seeing you this summer. Love you. Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, Mike.”

Lt. Michael Murphy's Valentine's Day card home to his mother
Lt. Michael Murphy’s Valentine’s Day card home to his mother

It was the last card she received from her son. Four months later, he was leading a four-man SEAL team in support of Operation Red Wing tasked with finding a key Taliban commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan. A fierce gun battle erupted on the mountain between the SEALs and a much larger enemy force. Michael Murphy was killed after he left his cover position and went to a clearing away from the mountains, exposing himself to enemy gunfire in order to get a clear signal to call headquarters to get help for his team. 

Lt. Michael Murphy, Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient
Lt. Michael Murphy, Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient

On Oct. 22, 2007, Michael Murphy was awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan.

His mother said, “I’m very proud of Mike. I was blessed to be his mom. It was such a gift from God.”

Lt. Michael Murphy, Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient
Lt. Michael Murphy, Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient
If you have a Last Letters Home story you’d like to share, please reach out to Virginia Huie by using this form.

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