Times Honors Medal of Honor Winner Michael Murphy

Since Times Watch criticized the Times for initially ignoring the story of Lt. Michael Murphy, the Navy Seal awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor by President Bush for heroism in Afghanistan, it's only fair to note that Sunday's Regional section led with a nice piece on Murphy.

Reporter Michael Winerip interviewed Murphy's parents in Riverhead, N.Y. for "Recognizing The Honor Of a Son."

"The Murphys liked that the news reports didn't just focus on Michael the soldier; they also described, as Mr. Murphy put it, 'what a good boy, what a good young man, what a good adult Michael was.'

"There was Michael 'the protector,' nicknamed early on for standing up to a middle school bully; Michael the lifeguard for five summers at Lake Ronkonkoma Beach; Michael the Penn State graduate with a 3.85 average; Michael the officer, who asked his dad to please stop telling everyone they met that he was a Navy Seal; Michael who so disliked wearing a uniform that he actually lost his dress whites and had to call his mom from Pearl Harbor to see if he had left them at home. His parents said they never worried whether Michael the boy could take care of himself, but they did fear he was a little too altruistic for his own good. 'We always worried he'd get killed standing up for some kid or swimming out to rescue someone,' his father said.

"And that is what happened, according to his Medal of Honor citation. In his final minutes alive, on a mountainside in Asadabad, Afghanistan, Michael Murphy stepped into the open, exposing himself to enemy fire to get a clear signal so he could call in reinforcements, leading to the rescue of his fellow Seal and best friend, Hospital Corpsman Second Class Marcus Luttrell. Corpsman Luttrell would live to tell of this heroism in the recent best seller 'Lone Survivor,' describing Lieutenant Murphy as an 'iron-souled warrior of colossal, almost unbelievable courage.' Corpsman Luttrell and the two other Seals who were killed, Gunner's Mate Second Class Danny P. Dietz, 25, and Sonar Technician Second Class Matthew G. Axelson, 29, all received the Navy Cross."