Michael P. Murphy graduated from Penn State University in 2000 with a double major in political science and psychology.
The 24-year-old Long Island native was talking about heading to law school next.
Instead, Murphy surprised his family and girlfriend by pursuing his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL.
But then Murphy’s military career took a turn when America was attacked on September 11, 2001.
Four years later, Murphy was completing his fourth deployment and preparing to marry his girlfriend of five years, Heather, in November.
But everything changed on June 28, 2005.
Murphy, along with three of his teammates, Matthew G. Axelson, Danny Dietz and Marcus Luttrell, had their position compromised in the steep mountains of Afghanistan.
A battle ensued.
The SEAL team was pinned down by heavy enemy fire.
In a brave and selfless act of heroism, Murphy exposed himself from cover to gain radio communication with the team’s quick reaction force.
The message has been sent.
Murphy was killed at the age of 29, along with 18 other military personnel, during the tragic events of Operation Red Wings.
But his story might never have been told properly had it not been for one man’s will to survive through thick and thin, Marcus Luttrell.
The book “Lone Survivor”, written by Luttrell in 2007 and later made into a movie in 2013, chronicles Murphy’s ultimate heroic effort to save his team.
Now nearly 10 miles from Patchogue, Murphy’s Long Island hometown, the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum opened in Sayville on June 28 – after five years in the making and 17 years to the day. of Operation Red Wings.
The second largest Navy SEAL museum in the nation, the museum honors those SEALs who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.
“It was never about Michael. As a family unit, it was a conscious decision not to do this about Michael,” his father, Daniel Murphy, told the Post. is about the Navy Seals, the Navy Seal experience and the history of Naval Special Warfare from the UDTs to the present day.”
The Medal of Honor, the U.S. Army’s highest decoration awarded posthumously to Murphy’s parents, is on display at the entrance. Above is a portrait of Murphy with a quote that his parents said he lived: “Education will set you free.”
The “Heart of the Museum” wall pays tribute to the many organizations that contributed to the creation of the museum.
Thanks to generous donations of time, labor and materials, the museum, which should have cost $5 million to build, was reduced to $2 million, Daniel Murphy said.
Exhibits range from the early roots of the SEALs in WWII, to underwater demolition teams in the Korean War, to their formal establishment in the Vietnam War, and the murder of Osama Bin Laden by SEAL Team Six.
The The museum has an extensive display of weapons and equipment used by the teams, interactive exhibits, and even SEAL Adventure Ride.
“It’s amazing to talk with young people today, where they show enthusiasm and interest in history, the military and being a Seal,” said Chris Wyllie , museum director and retired Navy SEAL.
Operation Redwing has its own section in the museum. A terrain model detailing the sequence of events of that tragic day sits in the center of the coin. On the side, a small screen plays the documentary “Murphy the Protector”.
“These are stories about Mike personally, and they want to know more about him,” said his mother, Maureen Murphy. “That’s the impact he had. They felt like Mike was their son. Their son from Long Island.
Murphy’s photo and 314 other Navy SEALs killed in action or training are displayed on “The Cost of Freedom” wall.
The installation also works like the Lieutenant Michael Murphy Division of the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. An organization for youth ages 11-17 to learn leadership values and give back to the community through volunteering.
“I hope the takeaway from the guests is, ‘I’m part of a community of Americans who cherish and value freedom,’ Daniel Murphy said. “And ‘I have this because of the people which are depicted on these walls.'”