12/14/06 - NNHS Newsletter - Shawn Murphy

Shawn M. Murphy
(24 Nov 1982 - 10 Dec 2006)

York High School Class of 2001

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

   There is a strange aspect to war.  With all the thousands of soldiers deployed, one never really believes that death could come to a friend.  Somehow such news always arrives with an almost overwhelming shock - as did this.

   It took several days for the names of the soldiers to be released to the public, so this Newsletter was also delayed

  From David Whitley ('67) of VA - 12/11/06:

I'll be leaving (the office) in a few minutes. (My daughter)     Drew (Whitley - Heritage HS - '03) just got a call that the boy she dated for years, and the one we came to your town for his return from his mission,     Shawn Murphy (York HS - '01), was killed in Baghdad last night. He joined the Army after his mission....

   Oh, David, I am so very sorry! Please give Drew my deepest sympathies......  As Shawn started attending the Singles Branch soon after his return from Africa, I never got to know him very well. But how I loved his family - especially his mama, Tonia, and his sister, Malia, and her adorable little baby boy!

From GlobalSecurity.org - 12/14/06:


U.S. Casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom
December 2006
# Service Member Age Date Unit Details
40  Pfc. Shawn M. Murphy 24 10 December 2006 3rd Bn, 509th Infantry (Airborne), 4th BCT, 25th Infantry Division, MND-Baghdad IED detonated near a Soldiers conducting a late night combat patrol / Dod Release: Died Dec. 10 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained when an IED detonated near their HMMWV

From the Virginian Pilot - 12/14/06:

Yorktown High grad among three paratroopers killed in Iraq

Associated Press
© December 14, 2006

A soldier who graduated from Yorktown High School was one of three paratroopers killed in Iraq over the weekend, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday.

Pfc. Shawn M. Murphy, 24, of Fort Bragg, N.C., died Sunday in Baghdad from a roadside explosion. The others killed were Sgt. Brennan C. Gibson, 26, of Tualatin, Ore.; and Spc. Philip C. Ford, 21, of Freeport, Texas, military officials said.

Murphy wanted to serve in the military since he was a child, said his father, Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Murphy.

"Shawn was an incredible patriot," his father told The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. "He had a lot of other options, but he wanted to be a soldier."

Murphy grew up on bases all over the country and world. He graduated from Yorktown High School in Yorktown, Va., followed by two years of Mormon missionary work in Uganda and Kenya. His family lives in Alaska.

Murphy returned to the United States and found out he had been exposed to tuberculosis. He followed a medical regimen and then signed up for Special Forces training at Fort Bragg. He became a paratrooper after a bout with mononucleosis and a back injury kept him from joining Special Forces, his father said.

Mark Murphy said he tried to persuade his son to join the Air Force or attend college so he could become a military officer, but Shawn wanted no delay in serving his country.

Murphy was on his first deployment to Iraq when he was killed.

"He'd e-mail back that he was living the dream," his father said. "You could tell that it really gave him a sense of fulfillment. I'm sure that when he passed away, he was happy."

Other survivors include his mother, Tonia, a sister and four brothers, all of Alaska.

Murphy, Gibson and Ford were assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

The deaths came three days after two paratroopers from the same unit were killed by a roadside bomb. They were Staff Sgt. Henry W. Linck, 23, of Manhattan, Kan.; and Spc. Micah S. Gifford, 27, of Redding, Calif. Their deaths were the brigade's first casualties since its 3,500 paratroopers left Alaska in the fall for a yearlong tour in Iraq.

The paratroopers are based in Baghdad, where they are working with Iraqi security forces to patrol streets, look for roadside bombs and battle insurgents, said Army spokesman Maj. Kirk Gohlke.

From the Anchorage Daily News - 12/14/06:

Soldiers killed in blast are identified

 Associated Press
© December 14, 2006

The names of three paratroopers from Fort Richardson who died in a roadside explosion in Iraq were released Wednesday.

The Department of Defense identified the three soldiers killed Sunday in Baghdad as:

• Sgt. Brennan C. Gibson, 26, of Tualatin, Ore.

• Spc. Philip C. Ford, 21, of Freeport, Texas.

• Pfc. Shawn M. Murphy, 24, of Fort Bragg, N.C.


All of the soldiers were assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, from Fort Richardson in Anchorage.

The deaths came three days after two paratroopers from the same unit were killed by a roadside bomb. They were Staff Sgt. Henry W. Linck, 23, of Manhattan, Kan., and Spc. Micah S. Gifford, 27, of Redding, Calif. Their deaths were the brigade's first casualties since its 3,500 paratroopers left Alaska in the fall for a yearlong tour in Iraq.

The paratroopers are based in Baghdad, where they are working with Iraqi security forces to patrol streets, look for roadside bombs and battle insurgents, Army spokesman Maj. Kirk Gohlke said.

-- The Associated Press

Spc. Philip C. Ford, 21, of Freeport, Texas, was an infantryman who joined the Army in October 2004 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in June 2005. Sgt. Brennan C. Gibson, 26, of Tualatin, Ore., was an infantryman who joined the Army in July 2004 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in May 2005. Pfc. Shawn M. Murphy, 24, of Fort Bragg, N.C., was an infantryman who joined the Army in March 2005 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in January 2006.

From Shawn's Page on MySpace.com:


From the Daily Press - 12/15/06:

York High graduate killed in Iraq

Shawn M. Murphy, 24, died when a roadside bomb exploded near a Humvee he was riding in.

December 15, 2006

As a child, Shawn M. Murphy dreamed of following in the footsteps of his Air Force father.

But he would go in the Army, he'd say, because he wanted to be part of their fight. To be on the front line.

As a teenager, putting his career goals on hold to spend two years in Uganda and Kenya doing Mormon missionary work, he learned humility. He saw firsthand that "the only difference between pestilence and a blessing was perspective," said his father, Lt. Col. Mark Murphy, in recalling a story his son once told him of an infestation of flying termites that locals fried up to eat.

And as an Army private first class serving in Baghdad, he came to feel that his purpose in Iraq was not just to serve his country. He was fighting for people to worship how they chose just as he had throughout his life, Mark Murphy said.

Shawn Murphy died in that fight Sunday when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee in Baghdad.

The 24-year-old, who graduated from York High School in 2001 and lived in York County for two years while his father was stationed at Langley Air Force Base, was on his first deployment to the war-torn country.

He left in October with the Alaska-based 3rd Battalion, 509th Airborne Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.

Shawn, the oldest of six children, is survived by a family he always put first, a younger sister said, and proud parents, who are now stationed in Alaska.

While they are still working out Shawn's funeral arrangements, his father said, it's likely he'll be buried in Montana, the Murphys' home of record.

"He was really loved," said Malia Bond, Shawn's 22-year-old sister, during a phone interview from her home in Utah.

"I'm so grateful that he sacrificed himself for all of us here so that we can have what we have and that I knew someone that was so amazing and willing to do that."

And she's grateful for her memories, she said.

Her brother was one of the smartest men she'd known.

"He didn't use those powers for good."

He used them to lovingly tease a baby sister, she said with a smile in her voice.

On MySpace.com, a popular Web site that allows people to create their own Internet profiles and blogs, Murphy was known as "crazyhotguy," a name that was typical of the humor she loved in her brother, Bond said.

In his online biography there, he wrote that he'd kissed someone in the rain, had often gone out of his way to befriend people and had, perhaps, been in love.

He loved to laugh, writing that the last time he remembered crying was after laughing so hard tears came out.

Pictures of Murphy posted on MySpace showed a skinny teenager in Africa, sporting a button-up shirt and tie, and of a happy man, beefy and muscular from bodybuilding. Some were of him in uniform, posing for the camera with a group of smiling comrades.

And one was of, according to the caption, Shawn and his last girlfriend. In that shot, he was kissing a giraffe.

While in Iraq, he wasn't able to call home, family members said, so he often used MySpace and e-mail to let his family know he was OK.

Through those final writings, his father said, Shawn showed that "he was driven. He was enthusiastic."

And because of that, and "because of our faith, we know where he is now," Mark Murphy said Thursday. "We have every confidence that he's in a good place, and we know that Shawn died doing what he loved.

"When he left this world, he left with no regrets and with a feeling he had done what he needed to accomplish in this life."

Murphy was the second area serviceman killed in Iraq this month. Marine Cpl. Joshua Sticklen, 24, died Dec. 3 in a helicopter crash in the al-Anbar province.

Sticklen, a 24-year-old from Virginia Beach, was stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.

He was buried this week following a memorial service at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.

Sticklen was one of four Marines killed when a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed.

Staff researcher Tracy Sorensen contributed to this report.

From the Montana Standard - 12/17/06:

  Spc. Shawn M. Murphy

  Spc. Shawn M. Murphy, 24, died Dec. 10, when the Humvee he was riding in was destroyed by an improvised explosive device (IED) during a late night combat patrol in Baghdad, Iraq.

Shawn was the eldest son of Mark and Tania (Schultz) Murphy, formerly of Butte. Born Nov. 24, 1982, he was a graduate of York High School, in Yorktown, Va. Afterwards, he served as a missionary for two years in Uganda and Kenya for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, returning in 2004. He then studied Criminology at Fayetteville Technical Community College until enlisting in the Army in March 2005. At the time of his death, he was a paratrooper serving in the 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Shawn was a champion wrestler, ardent patriot, devoted brother and beloved son. He is survived by his parents, Lt. Col. Mark and Tania Murphy, of Eielson AFB, Alaska; sister Malia Bond, and her husband Nathan, their son Benson, of Ogden, Utah; brothers Sam, Spencer, Sawyer and Jack, of Eielson AFB, Alaska; grandparents, Joe and Helen Murphy of Mountain Home, Idaho, Winnie Haynes, of Butte, and Jack and Rose Schultz of Belmont, Ohio. Also surviving are aunts and uncles, Terry and Debra Schultz, Arlen Schultz, Douglas and Theresa Schultz, Tim and Linda Schultz, all of Butte, Randy Schultz, serving in the Persian Gulf, Leinaal Lewis, Lakeport, Calif., Jill Sanderson Gloschat, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Charles Haynes, Henderson, Nev., Matthew Haynes, Boise, Idaho, Joe and Karen Murphy, Mountain Home, Idaho, and about a zillion cousins. Though Shawn lived in numerous places during his short life, he called Butte home.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1351 Mount Highland Drive, in Butte. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Missionary Fund, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Express condolences at http://www.mtstandard.com/obits.
Published in The Montana Standard on 12/17/2006.
Guest Book

My condolences to your family. Your service to our country is commendable. Rest in Peace.
A Butte Resident Montana (Butte, MT ) - December 17, 2006
JERRY KOUGIOULIS (GRAYSON, GA ) - December 17, 2006
Contact me
We are so very sorry for your loss and truly appreciate the ultimate sacrifice Shawn made for our country. God Bless you all.
(Seattle, WA ) - December 17, 2006
My condolences to the family. We thank you for your tremendous sacrifice and dedication to a better world. This young man is truly a hero in which all the people of this great country owe a debt of gratitude.
Another Butte Resident (Butte, MT ) - December 17, 2006
Our thoughts and prays are with the you all.

Sue, Jerry, Jr. (Andrew) and Amy Lou
Former Butte Resident.
Sue Kirby (Rock Hill, SC ) - December 17, 2006
Contact me
Very sad for the whole family. May he rest in peace and God bless you all.
A Butte Resident - December 18, 2006
Shawn was one of those people who made you smile just for knowing him. He was a hero to my son and I know to many others as well. My heart goes out to his family, who will hold him forever in their hearts!
Suzie Crosby (Eielson AFB, AK ) - December 18, 2006 
Contact me
Our prayer and thoughts are with you and your families at this time. May God be with you at this time and always.
Walter and Kym Lewis (Idaho Falls, ID ) - December 18, 2006 
My thoughts and prayers are with your families at this time.
Elaine Winston (Boise, ID ) - December 18, 2006  
Contact me
No words could ever express how sorry I am to hear about your son. Our prayers are with you here at Eielson.
Kim Powers (Eielson AFB, AK ) - December 19, 2006  
Contact me
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Shirley & Adam Skorcz (Newport, NC ) - December 19, 2006  
Contact me
Lt. Col. Murphy and family,
I am sad to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time of sorrow. Even though Shawn has paid the ultimate price for our freedom, he will be embraced by GOD, and missed by all.
C. "Flip" Thompson (Warner Robins, GA ) - December 20, 2006  
We are so sorry to hear of your son's sacrifice. At this time of mourning You must also be very proud. He must have been a very fine son. Our hearts go out to you.
Dick and Beverly Muffler (Idaho Falls, ID ) - December 20, 2006  
Contact me

    Our very deepest sympathies are extended to the entire Murphy family, as well as to all his many friends.

    From Drew Whitley (Heritage HS - '03) - 12/12/06 (posted on MySpace.com):

Shawn, I don't know what to say. All I could think of when I read Malia's (Murphy Bond - of UT) message yesterday morning was that it had to be some kind of joke. It wasn't funny and no one would ever joke about something like that, but that was the only way I could process it - as untrue. You were one of the strongest and smartest men I knew. You could conquer anything physically and intellectually with no problem. I will miss you being able to answer all of my questions, you had such wise advice to give. You also gave me a great foundation of patience to deal with future boyfriends that have not/and will never give me as much trouble as you did ;) I took out your letters last night that you wrote me from your mission and at the end of one you asked if I missed you. I do, Shawn. At the risk of sounding too dramatic, my first thought this morning when I opened my eyes was wondering if it was truly a long bad dream, but it wasn't. I was able to finally go to sleep last night knowing that you've served your family, served the Lord, served your country and now continue to serve once again to all those others that still need you. We all love and miss you Shawn.

- Drew Adrienne Whitley

   Thank you so much, Drew.  And again, you have my heartfelt condolences.

From my Friend, Anica, of NC - 12/17/06:

Thanks for letting me know about Shawn Murphy's passing. We are so sad to hear the news. Is there an email to send condolences?

Take care,


   Thank you, Anica.  I have not yet been able to locate such an addie.  The main communication seems to be taking place on Shawn's page on MySpace.com I'll keep trying to find one - for both of us.

Thanks for letting me know. I don’t have an account on MySpace, but my thoughts and prayers are with the Murphy passing. So sad and tragic! Let me know if an email address or mail address comes available.

   I will, Anica.  Thanks again.

  From Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 12/16/06 - "So sorry about Shawn...":

   Thank you, Jean.  I'm still rather numb...

  From David Whitley ('67) of VA - 12/18/06:

What a wonderful job you did for   Shawn.   Drew (Whitley - Heritage HS - '03) especially thought it was great and so did everyone else.....

Okay, I'll close for now, but I did want to tell you again how much your sweet spirit and kindness has meant. You really are a beautiful gal in every way, Carol. Thanks, you sweet thing, you.

Love you lots, d

  Thank you, David.  It was my privilege to make this memorial newsletter for Shawn.  I only wish I could have done more.

   Love y'all, too.  You remain in my prayers - all of you.

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!

                          Love to all, Carol


NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE: http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com

PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat


Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

The Last Post

"The Last Post" midi courtesy of http://www.mfiles.co.uk/other-midi.htm - 03/26/06

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of http://gregolsengallery.com – 01/27/05

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.bravenet.com - 08/12/04

Army Seal clip art also courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06
Thanks again, Al!

Heritage High School Logo courtesy of http://heritage.nn.k12.va.us/ - 12/15/06

York High School logo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York_High_School_(Virginia) - 12/14/06

Army Flag clip art courtesy of http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/KevsGifsGalore/Patriotic.html - 06/18/03

Images from MySpace.com converted to .jpg form by my #5 son, Nathaniel Harty (Hillsboro High School, IL - '97) of IL - 12/14/06
Thanks, Nathaniel!

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