U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
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.
- 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.
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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An 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
The 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
Major 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
The 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
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard