Though "humbled almost to the point of embarrassment" by the honor, a sailor at Naval Hospital Beaufort became the latest recipient Friday of one of the military's highest decorations.
Chief Hospital Corpsman Troy Murphy, a 36-year-old Tucson, Ariz., native stationed at Naval Hospital Beaufort since April 2006, received the Bronze Star medal Friday morning during the hospital's morning colors ceremony. He was honored for his actions during a 14-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The medal is the military's fourth-highest decoration, behind only the commendation medals for each service, the Silver Star and the Medal of Honor.
From May 2008 until July, while stationed at Combined Security Transition Command in Kabul, Murphy worked as the senior noncommissioned officer to a team teaching combat medics from the Afghan National Security Forces the most up-to-date life-saving techniques. Though his sixth overall, last year's deployment was Murphy's first to Afghanistan.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
The award citation said Murphy's leadership "enhanced the Afghan National Security Force's Combat Medic Program, significantly improving the life-saving skills of medics deployed in a combat environment."
Murphy said his fondest memory of his time spent in Afghanistan is teaching those fighting to regain control of their country.
"The people there are some of the greatest people you'll ever meet," Murphy said. "The guys we taught were all from different tribes and when they came in, they would segregate themselves a little, but they would solidify by the end and left there a band of brothers. They want their country to survive and helping them do that is something worth doing."
The Bronze Star can be awarded for single acts of combat valor, or, in Murphy's case, for meritorious service.
The son of a career airman, Murphy said he was honored by the notion of even being considered for the medal.
"When my superiors called me and told me they were going to put me in for the Bronze Star, I was like, 'Are you sure?'" Murphy said. "It's such a huge honor."