Last week, in a story that did not capture nearly the media attention it deserved, Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue New York, a Navy SEAL, was posthumously awarded the military's highest award: The Medal of Honor. He was the first Seal awarded the Medal of Honor since Vietnam.
Ironically enough, just days before this ceremony I had finally completed Marcus Luttrel's book on this now infamous firefight, Operation Redwing, so I was very familiar with his story.
In a nutshell, Murphy and four other Seals, including Luttrel, were caught in a terrible position by the Taliban. Engaged in a fierce firefight and recognizing how dire the situation was, Murphy came to the conclusion that the only way he could save his men was to radio in a support team. In order for him to get an audio connection, however, he was forced to walk directly into the line of enemy fire.
He did so without blinking, knowing he was sacrificing his life for that of his platoon mates. He did so without any degree of hesitation. As he made the call for air support, two shots pierced his chest. Mortally wounded, he did not waver. He completed his call and signed off by saying "thank you, sir" to the commanding officer on the other end of the line.
Moments later, he was dead.
On the other side of the coin, we have a prima donna athlete who is making 30 million dollars a year to play baseball.
He refuses to meet face-to-face and hear the offer being being tendered by his current employer - the one paying his 30 million dollars a year -- and instead hides behind the skirt of his his agent, who sends notice of his decision to the Yankees via text message and to the Associated Press during the 7th inning of the decisive game of the World Series.
And so, an example of beyond exemplary honor contrasted versus no honor whatsoever. Yet one is a household name, the other barely recognized. Which typifies everything that is wrong with our celebrity laden culture.
It is a good thing I don't own an Alex Rodriguez jersey, because if I did, I would remove the stitching that comprises his name and have it replaced with "Murphy."
I'd give it to the Little Boy and teach him that their are real heroes in this world and there are false ones. And that it is up to him to recognize who's who.
Good riddance Alex Rodriguez.
Rest in peace, Lt. Murphy.