SSG Luke Murphy
Mission Accomplished on February 22, 2014
Army Staff Sergeant Luke Murphy the Squad Leader of an 11 man Reconnaissance Team with the 187th Infantry Regiment, a component of the 101st Airborne Division was on his second deployment when he lost his right leg above the knee and severely injured his left leg in an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) blast in Sadr City, Iraq on April 25, 2006.
While leaving Sadr City at one o’clock in the morning after a day of searching through a landfill area where bodies were reported to be buried, SSG Murphy was riding in the second vehicle of the group when a bomb detonated after the vehicle’s bumper crossed a garage door opener laser. Four shaped charge explosives simultaneously ripped through the armor of the vehicle, seriously injuring those inside; SSG Murphy’s right leg traumatically amputated, his left leg blown in half. With the brake line severed, and the transmission disabled by the blast, the vehicle continued traveling down the road; fire heating the interior and exploding the ammunition.
SSG Murphy instructed the driver to crash the vehicle in an attempt to save those inside. Trapped in the wreckage, SSG Murphy forced open his door, shouldering it off of its hinges. Falling to the ground, he began low crawling away from the truck. While grenades were detonating, and with flames all around, the driver of the vehicle began a valiant attempt to save Luke’s life. Thinking his squad leader was still in the truck, and risking his life to attempt entry, the driver finally was able to hear Luke yelling to him, alerting him that he was out of the vehicle and needed medical attention. Dragged to safety and with tourniquets applied by the Medic and his team, Luke started drifting into an unconscious state, visions of his mother filling his head as his team tried to keep him awake.
Transported by truck, and thanks to the lifesaving measures by his men, 18 minutes after the blast SSG Murphy was in a field hospital being prepared for medevac to the Baghdad ER where he received several units of blood. Stabilized for transport to Landstuhl, Germany, SSG Murphy arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical Center within days of his injuries and remained there for a year enduring nearly thirty surgeries. SSG Murphy is grateful for the support he has received from the Tallahassee community.
Luke enjoys being outdoors and enjoys outdoor activities such as gardening, hunting, fishing and all things in nature. A graduate of Florida State University, Luke enjoys attending FSU Football games and cheering on his alma mater. A real estate agent and a nationally recognized motivational speaker, Luke also works with disabled veterans, sharing his positive attitude and helping others to transition to their new normal.
When asked what he would like to say to those who will make this specially adapted home possible SSG Murphy stated, “Thank you for helping to make my life easier. The daily obstacles I face will be greatly reduced with a home built by Homes for Our Troops. Your actions will help reduce the stress and pain I deal with which in turn will make me very happy and comfortable…I will be empowered by the independence I will have and will be pleased to be a functional citizen again."
- Groundbreaking- May 18, 2013
- Volunteer Day- December 7, 2013
- Key Ceremony- February 22, 2014