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Mark Wahlberg Movie Featuring Lt. Michael Murphy to be Released

A feature-length film that tells the tale of four Navy SEALs, including Penn State graduate Michael Murphy, on a reconnaissance mission to locate an al-Qaeda leader, will be released January 10.

The film is based on the New York Times bestselling book, which provides a first-person account of Operation Redwing and the lost heroes of Seal Team Ten. Both the book and the movie are titled “Lone Survivor.” The film features Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins on “Friday Night Lights”) as Murphy along with Mark Wahlberg.

Tasked with documenting the activity of Ahmad Shahd, a man believed to be very close to Osama bin Laden, the four SEALs depart for the mountainous Afghanistan in June 2005. Anti-coalition militia sympathizers found the four SEALs and revealed their positions to Taliban fighters.

The SEALs were soon surrounded by between 30 and 40 of the enemy forces. Their only escape was down the side of a mountain, as the enemy closed in on the SEALs.

Murphy, Penn State Class of 1998, recognized that the survival of his fellow SEALs depended on calling back to the base for reinforcements. Fully knowing he would most likely be facing death, Murphy moved into a clearing where his phone would get reception. He made the call to his headquarters and then fell under heavy fire. Although he was severely wounded, Murphy never lost his manners or composure. He said “thank you” before hanging up and continuing the fight that would end his life on June 28, 2005.

His final act of bravery allowed Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor, to be located and taken home. The severely wounded Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was kept safe from Taliban fighters by sympathetic villagers.

To describe Murphy in his book, Luttrell wrote: “Mikey was the best officer I ever knew, an iron-souled warrior of colossal and almost unbelievable courage in the face of the enemy.”

For their son’s heroism, Murphy’s family was given a posthumous Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military honor. Murphy, who died at 29, was the fourth Navy SEAL to earn the award and the first since the Vietnam War.

There was an advanced screening of the movie at The State Theatre on November 3. Onward State’s Grant Brown attended the showing and had this to say about the film:

“It was a bloody movie that showed the reality of war; it’s hell. The movie shows the sacrifice our armed services make, and specifically the ultimate sacrifice Penn State grad Michael Murphy made, selflessly giving his life so that the other members of his team could live.”

Click here to watch the trailer. Be sure to see “The Lone Survivor” when it hits theaters this January to watch the heroism of a fellow Penn Stater.

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About the Author

Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.

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