Saturday, May 12, 2007

Army Pfc. Christopher E. Murphy

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Christopher E. Murphy, 21, of Lynchburg, Va.

Pfc. Murphy was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died May 12 in Al Taqa, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives. Also killed were Sgt. 1st Class James D. Connell Jr. and Pfc. Daniel W. Courneya.

Final Rites for a 'Humble Kid'
Lynchburg Area Soldier Among Five Killed in Iraq May 12, 2007

By Mark Berman
Washington Post Staff Writer

A day after crowds visited Arlington National Cemetery to honor the nation's war dead on Memorial Day, family and friends of Pfc. Christopher E. Murphy gathered there to see him laid to rest.

Murphy, 21, of the rural Gladys area of Campbell County, Va., near Lynchburg, died May 12 in Al Taqa, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his unit's patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic weapons and explosives. The attack killed three other U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter; two soldiers are missing and believed to have been captured.

Yesterday, more than 50 mourners paid their respects to Murphy, standing at attention in their civilian and military best under a blazing afternoon sun. Murphy was the 340th member of the military killed in Iraq to be buried at Arlington.

Murphy's mother, Rosemary M. Balian, sat at the front of the group and was presented with a folded American flag by Maj. Gen. Michael Oates, commander of the 10th Mountain Division. She looked to the sky as a bugler began to play taps, wiping tears from her eyes with her right hand and clutching the flag with her left.

"I'm going to always remember him for the depth of love he had for the people around him," Murphy's sister, Shawna Murphy, said at a memorial service Sunday, according to the News Advance of Lynchburg. "Christopher was more generous of a heart than anyone had a right to be."

Murphy graduated in 2004 from William Campbell High School in Campbell County. Three years later, his memorial service was held in the school's gymnasium. Murphy was awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, which were presented to his mother and his father, Daryl Balian, at the service.

Murphy had played football for the William Campbell Generals, and the school plans to retire his No. 75 jersey, according to the News Advance.

"He was just one of those kids everyone enjoyed being around," James Rinella, the school's assistant principal, told The Washington Post this month. "A very hardworking kid, a very humble kid."

Murphy's coaches recalled a guy who couldn't see 10 feet in front of him without his glasses but who worked as hard as anyone and made his plays. The high school's Web site now carries an image of a bespectacled Murphy, in tribute.

Although Murphy was raised in Virginia, he was born in Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. He spent his last leave in February visiting family there. According to the Cape Cod Times, Murphy planned to make the Army his career, though he wasn't keen on returning to Iraq, family members said.

The other soldiers killed in the May 12 attack were Sgt. 1st Class James Connell Jr., 40, of Lake City, Tenn.; Pfc. Daniel Courneya, 19, of Nashville, Mich.; and Sgt. Anthony Schober, 23, of Reno, Nev.

The men were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Army Pfc. Christopher E. Murphy was killed in action on 5/12/07.

1 comment: said...

Thank you for all those that still think about Chris.
I am up in the middle of the night and I still think about him and always will. I am priviledged to know that all of you still put him in your prayers and dreams as I do for all Fallen Heroes.
Not because of Chris but because of ALL of what all of our FALLEN represent. My Gold Star status will always be an honor. Know that I still wake up and thank him in the midst of my dreams... and ALL that have given us the freedom to wake up in the middle of the night with our own personal dreams and know... they are a GOD given right because of the sacrifices we all acknowledge throughout the decades.
Thank you to all our veterans.
I miss him and would wish him home.... and sometimes, truthfully, I envy those that do have them home.Sincerelly, I hope everyone comes home. Meanwhile, keep beleiving and supporting those that are over there and send them love, support, and packages!!! My son got lots and gave them to the ones that didn't have any family over there. You'd be surprised as to how many and how much. Please, please do. Chris told me how much it meant for them.I told him in our last 'meeting' (I never knew this then) that it was a bit of money for me to send them over for me but he told me that they all loved to received mail and packages were special. That they lived for 'mail-call' so to speak. Amongst all the advice, intuition, and love he gave me that last day on his leave before he left, he only told me one thing.......
Mom, the last bullet is for us. You don't know what's going to happen and you don't worry about it either. My term is almost up but I want to reenlist and they'll probably send me to Afganistan. I want to be part of something bigger. Don't be mad at me.... (Well, the rest is private)
I didn't know then what he meant. I do now. I told him I didn't want to hear all of that (Moms don't) but I would respect his decisions even if I didn't like them. I can say this now to you because of the freedoms that we all have been our loss collectively throughout all the wars.I have one last question for you.How can you not support the soldiers that support our country no matter what war? Or at the very least, like Chris said to me...
"Mom, I know you don't understand why I do what I do. I know you love me. Just do what you do best and go and be there (for the community) and help them there.
He actually knew of my wanting to travel and told me to do so even when he knew I couldn't afford it. After raising 4 children and going to college in the early years...LOL.To "Follow Your Dreams".He didn't know what would happen. He only knew he was at high risk and wanted me to know it was alright. No, it wasn't and it won't ever be.Noone that has lost a child, a husband or wife, a sister or brother, a friend or just someone they knew for a few minutes that touched their lives, or for whatever reason, should not be upset. Love your family, your children, your parents.... and know that the loss of only one only lets us know how much of life is fleeting yet dear. Buy those little flowers from the Veterans in front of Wal-Mart. Please do.....wear them proudly.
I know. You know. If you don't, may the Lord always take your heart in his hand and gently guide you to true wisdom.
It is only through adversity that we grow and truly know. I'm sorry to 'pontificate' but that is how I feel. It's almost his birthday... but I understand ALL of those in EVERY war that every soldier that never celebrated their birthday should be celbrated in all of our hearts and souls. Not just Chris.
I will hold Chris in my heart, and it truly seems like sometimes by myself.... I don't know.
Please make the day of one of our Veterans that came home and hug them in Chris's name. All wars, all conflicts, all reasons. I am so prayerful that they made it home and continue to remind us how our freedom is truly ours.
But can I be a 'Bit 'O A Mom' and tell and share with you...
I miss him???
Chris's Mom
Rosemary Balian