A martyr is someone who dies for something worth believing in. I use the word with extreme precision. I’m not talking about asshats who blow themselves up for some psychotic fairy tale god. Those people are not martyrs. Those people are spineless cowards who deserve nothing but eternal shame for their willful acts of ignorance and hatred.
A real martyr is someone who dies for something universally good. They lay down their lives so that other men may live free. Freedom is bigger than religious differences and petty politics. It’s the one constant that resonates deeply within American ideology and it’s something that, as Americans, we should all care a lot more about.
These men made the ultimate sacrifice so that history will remember why they fought and what they died for. I pray we do not take them for granted.
Murphy was the leader of a four-man SEAL team that secretly infiltrated the Hindu-Kush Mountains along the border of Pakistan during operation Enduring Freedom.
They were there to kill Ahmad Shah, a high-ranking Taliban Zen garden master, when overwhelming terrorist forces ambushed the team. SEALs being SEALs, they unleashed an almighty shit storm of righteousness upon the hoards of goat herders, who obviously had no idea who the fuck they were messing with.
A fierce firefight raged on for about 45 minutes. Three of the SEALs were wounded and ammo was running low. Michael Murphy exposed himself into the open and climbed to higher ground to call for back up. Despite the severity of his wounds, he made the call and kept on fighting to give his team a chance to escape.
A Quick Reaction Force of 8 Navy SEALs and 8 Army Night Stalker commandos responded to the distress call, but all of them valiantly lost their lives when an RPG hit their MH-47 helicopter.
The four-man SEAL team was alone, wounded, and dramatically outnumbered. Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson, and Danny Dietz were all killed in action as they provided supporting fire that allowed the fourth member of the team to escape alive.
Marcus Luttrell, despite being wounded in both legs, walked on for several miles. Luckily an Afghani shepherd that wasn’t a terrorist asshole found Luttrell and hid him until he could be rescued.
At the end of the day, Taliban bodies were strewn all over with a total of 80 casualties from the four-man SEAL team. In the thickest shit of the firefight, one man screamed out “I’m hit!” to which Murphy responded, “We’re all hit! Keep moving!”
Their story hits the big screen in January with the release of the film Lone Survivor.
First Lieutenant John R. Fox was part of the segregated 366th Infantry Regiment that saw combat in Italy during WWII. Fox and a few other Buffalo Soldiers volunteered to stay behind and help support the American withdrawal from Sommocolonia, a small Italian town that was being overrun by German forces.
Using his radio, Fox directed defensive artillery fire from a second story house in the town. As the Germans advanced towards him, he adjusted artillery fire closer and closer, before finally ordering a deadly strike directly on his own position. It was the only way to stop the German attack.
His heroic display of testicular dominance slowed the German advance long enough for American forces to organize a counterattack that recaptured the town. His body was found with a trophy room of about 100 German bodies.
When the artillery team warned him that the final artillery adjustment would be fatal, Lt. Fox spoke his infamously badass last words…