Today we honor of Army Spc. Hilda Clayton, 22, of Augusta, Georgia. Spc. Clayton died from injuries sustained when a mortar malfunctioned during an Afghan National Army training exercise in Qaraghahi, Afghanistan. She was assigned to the 55th Signal Company and the 21st Signal Brigade in Fort Meade, Maryland, and was providing Combat Camera support at the time of her death. She is survived by her husband, Chase Clayton.
We have a Fourth of July True Spirit tradition to do all of the CrossFit Heroine Workouts. We are again celebrating our Independence this year by honoring these brave women who gave their lives to defend it.
U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ashley White, 24, of Alliance, Ohio. Lt White was assigned to the 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard, based in Goldsboro, North Carolina, died on October 22, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device. She is survived by her husband Captain Jason Stumpf, her parents Robert and Deborah, brother Josh, and sister Brittney.
Lt White was a member of an US Army Cultural Support Team. Cultural Support Teams were women deployed in small detachments with male infantry units in Irag and Afghanistan order to collect information from families and communicate with women without breaking cultural taboos. Women Marines and Soldiers received special combat training in order to be detached to infantry units. These women proved themselves admirably in combat situations and were instrumental in collecting intelligence that was unavailable to their male counterparts.
If you would like to know more about the women in combat and specifically Lt. White's story, please read Ashley's War. We have it in our lending library at the gym.
Today we honor Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.
LT. Michael P. Murphy (SEAL) was the officer-in-charge of a four-man SEAL element in support of Operation Red Wings, tasked with finding a key anti-coalition militia commander near Asadabad, Afghanistan. Shortly after inserting into the objective area, the SEALs were spotted by three goat herders who were initially detained and then released. It is believed the goat herders immediately reported the SEALs’ presence to Taliban fighters.
A fierce gun battle ensued on the steep face of the mountain between the SEALs and a much larger enemy force. Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.
Moving away from the protective mountain rocks, he knowingly exposed himself to increased enemy gunfire. This deliberate and heroic act deprived him of cover and made him a target for the enemy. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy made contact with the SOF Quick Reaction Force at Bagram Air Base and requested assistance. He calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team. At one point, he was shot in the back causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Severely wounded, LT. Murphy returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.
LT. Murphy fought on, allowing one member of his team (Marcus Luttrell) to escape, before he was killed. For his selfless actions, LT. Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 27, 2007.
This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor". On August 18, 2005, CrossFit HQ created the Murph Hero WOD in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is. Murph is the third Hero WOD CrossFit HQ created.
Fair winds and following seas, Sir.
Today is the 15th anniversary of Operation Red Wings.
Most every CrossFitter and other people in our orbit have heard of the Hero workout Murph. It's legendary and we're doing it tomorrow.
What many folks don't know, is the story of Murph and why we honor him. Today is the 15th anniversary of Operation Red Wings, this the Navy SEAL operation that took Lt. Murphy's life and the lives of 20 of his fellow sailors and soldiers. It is the deadliest day in Navy SEAL history.
Murph's SEAL team were scouting Ahmad Shah – a terrorist in his mid-30s who grew up in the mountains of Afghanistan. A fierce firefight erupted between the four SEALs and a much larger enemy force of more than 50 anti-coalition militia. The enemy had the SEALs outnumbered. They also had terrain advantage. They launched a well-organized, three-sided attack on the SEALs. The firefight continued relentlessly as the overwhelming militia forced the team deeper into a ravine.
Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.
An MH-47 Chinook helicopter, with eight additional SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers aboard, was sent is as part of an extraction mission to pull out the four embattled SEALs. As the Chinook raced to the battle, a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter, killing all 16 men aboard.
On 22 October, 2007, President George W. Bush presented the parents of Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy the Medal of Honor for his actions on 28 June, 2005.
Tomorrow we honor him and the rest of the brave men who gave their lives for our country.
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