On June 28, 2005, a four-man SEAL Team (LT Michael P. Murphy, Matthew G. Axelson, Danny P. Dietz, and Marcus Luttrell) was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. The SEAL Team’s mission was compromised when a local goat herder stumbled upon them in the mountains. Confronted with having to decide whether or not to let the locals go, LT Michael Murphy made the difficult decision to release him. Unbeknownst to the SEAL Team, the Taliban was quickly notified of the SEALs’ location and surrounded them in the mountainous terrain.
A fierce gun battle ensued, lasting for two hours. All of the SEALs were badly wounded but continued to fight. Knowing that the Team was outnumbered, and realizing that they were in need of support, LT Michael Murphy decided that he needed to contact Bagram Air Base for assistance. In order to make this call, LT Murphy needed to climb to an open area and thus exposed himself to intense enemy gunfire. He was successful in requesting support and relaying the Team’s position to the Airbase, despite being hit by enemy gunfire. After completing the call, LT Michael Murphy continued to fight but eventually succumbed to his wounds.
A Chinook helicopter, carrying 8 SEALs and 8 Nightstalkers, was sent to aid the surrounded SEAL Team. The helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing all 16 servicemen on board.
Danny Dietz and Matt Axelson continued to fight but eventually succumbed to their wounds.
Despite being wounded and blown off of a mountain, Marcus Luttrell was able to evade the Taliban and dragged himself 7 miles before a local tribesman found him. The tribe protected Luttrell for three days and informed U.S. Forces of his location. Marcus Luttrell was rescued by U.S. Forces on July 2, 2005.
LT Michael Murphy received the Medal of Honor for his undaunted courage and devotion to his Teammates. He knowingly put himself into harm’s way so that his Teammates could be saved. LT Michael Murphy exemplified true character and love of country.
June 28, 2005, was the single largest loss of life for Naval Special Warfare since World War II. The Naval Special Warfare community will forever remember June 28, 2005, and the heroic efforts and sacrifices of our special operators.
The Navy SEAL LT Michael P. Murphy 4 Mile Run/Walk Around the Lake mission is to Never Forget those that have sacrificed so much for all of us and to honor their character and devotion to our country.