Navy Hero Honored in New York

Story Number: NNS100510-13Release Date: 5/10/2010 5:33:00 PM
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By Lt. Sean P. Riordan, Navy Office of Information, East

New York City (NNS) -- A portrait of Medal of Honor recipient Navy Lt. Michael Murphy was unveiled during a ceremony attended by Murphy's family at Fort Hamilton, N.Y., May 7.

Yoni Park, a Fellow at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia, painted the portrait that will be displayed prominently at the New York City Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) where Murphy was processed for entry into the Navy.

The painting, based on one of the last photographs taken of Murphy, shows him with a beard and laden with the tools of his trade as a Navy SEAL.

"That photo was chosen because it tells the story of Mike Murphy," said retired Navy Cmdr. Ellen Emerson, the former commander of the MEPS. "He was a SEAL committed to his mission and his men."

Emerson commissioned the painting while she was commanding the MEPS.

"I thought the painting would be great way to inspire our applicants, but I also thought it would serve as an inspiration for the staff - to remind them of the incredible potential in the young men and women we process every day," said Emerson.

Yoni Park, the artist, called this one of her most important paintings because it honors a man who gave his life in service to the nation honoring a solemn oath he made. This painting and his memory will now serve as inspiration for the future service members taking that same oath.

Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli, the deputy commander of Naval Special Warfare Command and the keynote speaker, said there was no better inspiration for young men and women contemplating the commitment they are making to the military.

"It is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things and Mike was one of those guys. He was a true teammate fighting for the guy on his left and the guy on his right," said Bonelli.

The Medal of Honor was awarded to Murphy posthumously for his actions in Afghanistan in 2005.

The New York MEPS is one of 65 stations located throughout the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to ensure all applicants for enlistment in the Armed Forces meet the aptitude, physical and moral standards of the Department of Defense.

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