Home Family Memorial Day Murph: Honoring a Navy SEAL’s Bravery and Sacrifice

Memorial Day Murph: Honoring a Navy SEAL’s Bravery and Sacrifice

Early on the morning of the 28th, four Navy SEALs—Lieutenant Michael Murphy and Petty Officers Danny Dietz, Matthew Axelson, and Marcus Luttrell—were dropped about 10,000 feet high in the Hindu Kush Mountains. Their mission was to provide reconnaissance for an impending action against guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah.

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However, the plan quickly took a dire turn when a group of goatherds stumbled upon their position. Within hours, the SEALs were under attack from more than 50 anticoalition militiamen, taking fire from three sides. All four SEALs were wounded and pinned against cliffs that blocked the signal they needed to make a distress call.

Understanding the deadly predicament, Murphy, according to the Navy, “unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.”

Exposed and targeted by the enemy, Murphy was shot in the back but managed to complete the call before he succumbed to his wounds. Dietz and Axelson also died on that mountainside.

Sixteen Special Forces members who raced to extract the SEALs lost their lives when their helicopter was shot down.

After the tragic events of Operation Red Wings, Dan Murphy had to face the reality of his son’s selfless nature. The Navy had informed them that there was at least one survivor.

“We know the way Michael is. If there’s going to be one survivor, it’s not going to be Michael,” Dan said to Michael’s mom, Maureen.

Luttrell, the lone survivor, was discovered by locals who carried him to safety.

Michael Murphy’s journey to becoming a SEAL involved rigorous training that eventually led him to discover CrossFit. According to his father, Dan Murphy, Michael began running, doing calisthenics, and climbing a rope tied to a tree in their backyard.

He created a CrossFit-style workout that mirrored the demands of his job as a SEAL, performing exercises while wearing his 16.4-pound military-issued vest, calling the workout “Body Armor.”

Michael’s standard time for the workout was 32 to 35 minutes.

After the tragic events of Operation Red Wings, Dan Murphy had to face the reality of his son’s selfless nature. The Navy had informed them that there was at least one survivor.

“We know the way Michael is. If there’s going to be one survivor, it’s not going to be Michael,” Dan said to Michael’s mom, Maureen.

Michael’s “Body Armor” workout began spreading by word of mouth among SEAL teams and soon became known as “Murph.”

“Murph” has since become a tradition, performed not just by SEALs but by people all over the world. The workout can be modified and scaled to suit anyone, from those unable to do pull-ups to those in wheelchairs, making it accessible yet challenging.

The “Murph” workout has grown into an iconic event for three key reasons: it commemorates a SEAL who made the ultimate sacrifice, it is a monumental workout, and it embodies the Memorial Day community spirit.

It’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices of fallen heroes, pushing through a tough workout in their honor and uniting people in a shared goal of remembrance and respect.

Did you participate in the “Murph” challenge?

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In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Michael’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor.” From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.... If you’ve got a 20-pound vest or body armor, wear it.