Christopher E. Murphy – Corporal, United States Army

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 590-07
May 15, 2007

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 12, 2007, in Al Taqa, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic fire and explosives. They were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.

Killed were:

  • Sergeant First Class James D. Connell Jr., 40, of Lake City, Tennessee
  • Private First Class Daniel W. Courneya, 19, of Nashville, Michigan
  • Corporal Christopher E. Murphy, 21, of Lynchburg, Virginia

Final Rites for a ‘Humble Kid'
Lynchburg Area Soldier Among Five Killed in Iraq May 12
By Mark Berman
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A day after crowds visited Arlington National Cemetery to honor the nation's war dead on Memorial Day, family and friends of Private First Class Christopher E. Murphy gathered there to see him laid to rest.

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Murphy, 21, of the rural Gladys area of Campbell County, Virginia, near Lynchburg, died May 12, 2007, in Al Taqa, Iraq, from wounds suffered when his unit's patrol was attacked by enemy forces using automatic weapons and explosives. The attack killed three other U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter; two soldiers are missing and believed to have been captured.

Yesterday, more than 50 mourners paid their respects to Murphy, standing at attention in their civilian and military best under a blazing afternoon sun. Murphy was the 340th member of the military killed in Iraq to be buried at Arlington.

Murphy's mother, Rosemary M. Balian, sat at the front of the group and was presented with a folded American flag by Major General Michael Oates, commander of the 10th Mountain Division. She looked to the sky as a bugler began to play taps, wiping tears from her eyes with her right hand and clutching the flag with her left.

“I'm going to always remember him for the depth of love he had for the people around him,” Murphy's sister, Shawna Murphy, said at a memorial service Sunday, according to the News & Advance of Lynchburg. “Christopher was more generous of a heart than anyone had a right to be.”

Murphy graduated in 2004 from William Campbell High School in Campbell County. Three years later, his memorial service was held in the school's gymnasium. Murphy was awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, which were presented to his mother and his father, Daryl Balian, at the service.

Murphy had played football for the William Campbell Generals, and the school plans to retire his No. 75 jersey, according to the News & Advance.

“He was just one of those kids everyone enjoyed being around,” James Rinella, the school's assistant principal, told The Washington Post this month. “A very hardworking kid, a very humble kid.”

Murphy's coaches recalled a guy who couldn't see 10 feet in front of him without his glasses but who worked as hard as anyone and made his plays. The high school's Web site now carries an image of a bespectacled Murphy, in tribute.

Although Murphy was raised in Virginia, he was born in Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. He spent his last leave in February visiting family there. According to the Cape Cod Times, Murphy planned to make the Army his career, though he wasn't keen on returning to Iraq, family members said.

The other soldiers killed in the May 12 attack were Sergeant FirstClass James Connell Jr., 40, of Lake City, Tennessee; Private First Class Daniel Courneya, 19, of Nashville, Michigan; and Sergeant Anthony Schober, 23, of Reno, Nevada. The men were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, New York.

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Iraq Arlington FuneralAn Army honor guard carries an urn containing the cremated remains of Army Corporal Christopher E. Murphy, during a funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rosemary Balian, Darryl BalianThe parents of Army Corporal Christopher E. Murphy, Rosemary Balian, left, and Darryl Balian, second from left, mourn during funeral services for their son, Tuesday, May 29, 2007, at Arlington National Cemetery

Michael Oates, Rosemary Balian, Darryl BailanMajor General Michael Oates, commander of the 10th Mountain Division, left, presents the parents of Army Corporal Christopher E. Murphy, Rosemary Balian, second from left, and Darryl Balian, an American flag, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery

Rosemary BalianThe mother of Army Corporal Christopher E. Murphy, Rosemary Balian, left, hugs the folded flag handed to her during a funeral services for her son, Tuesday, May 29, 2007, at Arlington National Cemetery

 

MURPHY, CHRISTOPHER E
CPL US ARMY

  • DATE OF BIRTH: 10/18/1985
  • DATE OF DEATH: 05/12/2007
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8629
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

 

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